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Library offers summer programs to children of all ages — for free

By Staff | Jun 2, 2009

With summer break almost here children in Cape Coral and their parents are going to be looking for something to fill the sudden abundance of time on their hands.
Though some families might have trouble paying for summer camps due to the economic climate, there are plenty of free opportunities to entertain children, while still educating them, at the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library.
Offering a host of programs for young children to teens, the library acts as a beacon for youths throughout the summer.
Youth Services Director Linda Rizco said she expects the economy to play a big part in the number of children who find their way to the library this summer.
“A lot of parents can’t afford summer camps, but they still have to do something for their kids during the day,” she said. “The library is a nice, cool place kids can come and do some constructive things.”
Most of the library’s summer programs are aimed at keeping children reading, even though they are on summer break.
While reading might be the furthest thing from their minds, the library mixes fun activities with literature to keep school weary youths engaged.
Its ongoing summer reading programs, such as “Read Down Fines” and writing book reviews, give children the opportunity to win prizes while staying informed.
Youths fill out reading logs to pass on to their teachers when school resumes, so educators can see what students have been up to over summer break.
“The motive is to keep them reading so they don’t lose it,” Rizco said. “We try hard to have some exciting programs and prizes.”
While the library and its activities are open to all youths, she warned that library staff is not ultimately responsible for the children’s safety.
Rizco said weekdays tend to be the busiest because parents are working and children are looking for entertainment. She compared the crowds to those on Saturdays during the school year, when the library is often the most crowded.
Rizco said library staff tries to encourage parents to institute safety procedures for their children, and to remain alert while enjoying the library’s plethora of summer amenities.
“We are very aware of what’s happening, but we can’t be everywhere at once,” she said. “There’s multiple things that demand your attention.”
For a full list of activities at the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library, visit: www3.leegov.com/ library, or call Youth Services at 533-4558.