By Ashley Rader
Young readers at the Elizabethton Carter County Public Library are invited to “Dig Into Reading!” as the Summer Reading Program kicks off at the library on June 4. The program lasts until July 30.
Participants can sign up at the library before the program begins, Tuesdays at the summer reading session or at any time during the summer while it is ongoing. Summer readers will receive a book bag, pencil and a bookmark to take home with them and a reading log that will be kept at the library to track the books they read through the summer.
The summer reading program will be held on nine Tuesdays from June 4 to July 30. The program will meet at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. each Tuesday. The preschool program will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams noted that readers who are in the preschool program can also participate in the summer reading program without having to attend the Tuesday programs if the children do not want to.
Because the program is open to children of all ages, the readers can choose whether they want to be active readers or to have the book read to them. Each time a reader finishes a book, they will note it on their log at the library. At the end of the summer, they will have a record of the books they finished.
Williams said attendance has remained steady each year: An average of around 400 children sign up each year. Several summer school and day care programs also participate. She said the program is seeing more younger children sign up for the summer reading program, which matches the national trend for summer reading programs.
“There is a bigger focus on early literary skills,” Williams said. “It is a nationwide focus. They sent separate materials and lessons for the younger readers for the summer program. They have never done that before.”
While a number of parents bring their children to the summer reading program year after year, a group of new parents and young readers join the program each summer.
Abby Baker said she will bring her sons to the summer reading program for the first time this year.
“The oldest just learned how to read in school this year,” she said. “This will help him to retain what he learned and not forget before he goes back to school.”