Read in Ned : Summer fun at the Library

booksCeline Cooper, Nederland.  It’s hard to believe that while memories of snow are fresh in our minds, summer is just around the corner. For many people, summer is a time for vacations, relaxing, and playing outside. For children’s librarians, it is the busiest time of year as we gear up for the Summer Reading Program. The Summer Reading Program (SRP), or Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is a national organization and movement to keep kids reading over the summer months while they are not at school.

Summer Reading Programs are more than just reading, however, and encompass a wide range of fun, educational, and engaging activities for people of all ages. While not every library embraces the national theme of the SRP, the goal of getting young people to engage in educational activities remains the same. The more children read and get involved over the summer, the less likely they are to succumb to the dreaded “summer slide”.

Summer slide is a sad phenomenon that occurs when a student doesn’t read or engage their mind over the summer. The student may enter the next grade at a lower reading level than the grade they left only a few months prior. When you compound this over multiple summers and through multiple grades, the difference between a child who has been reading during the summers, and one who hasn’t is staggering-as much as a whole grade level difference in reading ability by the time they enter fifth grade.

So what do we, as librarians, educators, parents, and community members do to prevent this and ensure our kids are not falling behind?  For one, we are truly lucky to live in a community with amazing non-profit organizations dedicated to children’s social, environmental, and emotional health. There is such an abundance of wonderful resources here in Nederland, Boulder, and Gilpin County, that it can almost be hard to choose what wonderful activity your child can get involved with.

At the Nederland Community Library, we are proud to announce this year’s Summer

Reading Program theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!”. The theme promotes health, wellness, sports, and games throughout history, and ties in nicely to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio. To celebrate the theme, the Nederland Community Library will be showcasing talented local performers on Tuesday mornings, who will engage our bodies and brains alike. We will learn about topics such as the physics of our bodies, how to build kinetic Lego worlds, how to make our own cheese, and how science and sports complement each other.

Supplemental programming will be provided every other Thursday, where we will engage in engineering and math games, as well as a mock Olympics. All programming is free and open to kids aged six and up. We will start with a kickoff party on Saturday, June 4th at 3:00 PM with food, games and activities. We are also ordering 100+ new books for children aged 0-18, and will be giving out experiential and educational prizes to students who complete their reading goals for the summer. For more information on the Summer Reading Program, and to view our calendar, please visit: http://nederland.colibraries.org/srp-2016.

Celine Cooper is the Children’s Services Coordinator at the Nederland Community Library.