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Libraries gearing up for Summer Reading Program

By Staff | Jun 8, 2016

Sanibel Public Library Youth Services Librarian Deanna Evans and Captiva Memorial Library Branch Manager Susan Totter are reading for this year’s Summer Reading Program. MEGHAN MCCOY

The libraries on Sanibel and Captiva are gearing up for the annual Summer Reading Program to help encourage youngsters to continue reading when they are out of school.

Sanibel Public Library Youth Services Librarian Deanna Evans said the summer reading program is important because it helps in preventing the “summer slide” with the loss of words, or the loss of gains the kids have made.

“They at least need to maintain, if they don’t at least improve,” Evans said. “It’s practice. Everything is practice.”

Captiva Memorial Library Branch Manager Susan Totter said some studies show that kids can slide back an average of two months in their learning when reading is not continued.

“It’s hard when you are in a new grade and have to know new things and they are trying to catch up,” she said. “Anything that they can do over the summer to keep at least where they left off in June is important.”

Totter said she does not know if the schools have anything assigned specifically during the summer in regards to reading, but encourages the young readers to pick up anything they wish to read.

“It doesn’t matter what level, if it’s a lower level, a magazine – let them read and have fun because every little bit helps, so they do not slide backwards,” she said. “This is the time not to think of reading as homework in school, but just something that excites them no matter what the level is.”

Totter said since reading may not be a favorite thing to do for some kids, she encourages them to walk around the library and pick out anything that jumps out at them.

“Whatever format, whatever level, just let them take it and let them enjoy it because this may be the time to get more interested in reading. This is the time where they can pick out whatever they want,” she said.

Both of the librarians said it is okay for children to listen to an audio book during the summer reading program, as well as read picture books.

“Anything that involves reading in anyway possible is helping,” Totter said.

Evans agreed stating that reading to siblings works for the reading program too.

Evans said the nice thing about the program is youngsters can sign up for both the Sanibel Public Library and the Lee County Library System reading program.

The Sanibel Summer Reading Program kicks off Saturday, June 11, at the Sanibel Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon. The kick off party provides the youngsters with the opportunity to sign up for the summer program, as well as participate in many activities.

“When they sign up they will get a gift bag, a paper shoe cutout to put their name on and we will track how many books they earn by (putting a sticker on) their shoe and it will all be on display,” Evans said. “They will be able to pick out a book at that time for just showing up and signing up and to get them started with their reading.”

She said one of the key things with getting a free book is the youth building their own library.

“I am making it fairly easy for them to earn books,” Evans said.

Little activity stations for crafts, little sports activities, and other stations will be set up around the children’s center of the library. Some of the middle schoolers will be on hand offering assistance during the event.

Evans said due to the Sanibel Public Library Foundation each child who participates in the Summer Reading Program can receive free books for doing certain activities, or achieving certain tasks, for their own personal library.

“When they read and earn themselves a book, they also earn a book for the Golisano Children’s Hospital,” Evans said.

Last year, close to 1,000 books were earned by the island readers for the library at the Children’s Hospital.

Other programs to be held this summer at the Sanibel Public Library include magicians, a storyteller, professional percussion group, all primarily offered at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. Weekly summertime storytime will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays.

Evans said because it is “On Your Mark, Get Set and Read,” some of the activities she will have during the Summer Reading Program are health related. She said they include biking somewhere, keeping a food diary and drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.

“It can be time related. It can be activity related,” Evans said of the reading program.

Last but not least, every Tuesday at 6 p.m. teens are invited for the V.I.P. After Hours, which includes such activities as viewing book trailers, swapping books and setting up books as dominos.

Although the Captiva Memorial Library does not have a kick off party per-say, the first children’s program will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 16 with “Out of My Hands Juggling Show” with Gerard Tricanco.

Totter said the Library Board helps in funding the programs.

Two days prior, Tuesday, June 14, kids can start signing up for the Summer Reading Program online, at home, or at the library. Totter said the entire program is being done online this year.

“If they can’t sign up until the 20th, but they have read since the 14th,” they can include that they read those days, Totter said.

Youth can sign up at leelibrary.beanstack.org/reader365.

Other children’s programs at the Captiva Memorial Library include:

Soaring High, at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Ms. Naomi will share “The Brave Child Who Wanted to Fly” during the participation story. Youngsters will have the opportunity to learn fun facts about flight, as well as create parachutes.

Captiva Memorial Library Book of Records, at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 30. Stop by the library and see what kind of records can be broken, such as who can take the longest step at the library.

African Tales and Games, at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 7. Ms. Naomi will read stories from African countries and youngsters will have the opportunity to play Pilolo, a game from Ghana.

Mariposa Martinez & More Tales from Latin America, at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Katie Adams, storyteller and puppeteer will perform a mesmerizing Hispanic stories with Spanish words and puppets.

Jiggleman, at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 21. The wild show will include fun full of commotion and whimsy.

Sail Across the Pond, at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 28. Stories and games will be presented from England by Ms. Naomi.

The teen programs at Captiva Memorial Library include:

What? Noooo!, at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9. Stories of terror, heartbreak, and hilarity will be told by Kaye Bymes in the form of performance art and storytelling.

Magic Workshop with James Chartier, at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 23. James Chartier, a professional magician, will teach teens how to make things disappear, read someone’s mind and perform the cut and restored newspaper trick.