Harper Woods Library hosts reading programs

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published June 19, 2013

HARPER WOODS — Summer is a time for excitement, adventure, good friends and amazing locations that can only be found in the pages of a book.

It’s time for the library’s Summer Reading Program, and there’s something for people of all ages.

There is a summer reading program planned for children, teens and adults, and all the fun begins the week of June 17.

Besides entertainment, there are great reasons to pick up a book in the summer. Reading through the summer has been tied by some to continued academic growth.

“In my own family, my now high-school-graduate daughter always had her highest MEAP scores in the reading comprehension and writing proficiency areas,” Harper Woods Library Director Dale Parus said in an email. “I attribute some of that to her pleasure reading on her own through the summer.”

According to an article from the School Library Journal that Parus referenced, research shows that literacy skills suffer during long breaks in learning.

Children who sign up for the children’s summer reading program will receive a bag with all of the information about how to participate and earn prizes for summer reading. This year’s children’s program theme is “Dig into Reading.”

Children can complete a reading log that they can fill up with stickers signifying each hour that they either read or listened to a story being read to them. Every time they complete one hour of reading, they earn a prize for up to four hours. They are encouraged to read beyond that, as well.

A grand prize drawing is scheduled for July 31.

“The Summer Reading Program at the library is a great way for kids to have some fun with reading over the summer,” youth services librarian Bethany Bruns said. “Each child can go at his own pace, choose what he enjoys and have incentive to visit the library. The summer is a busy time for us, and we anticipate even more kids participating this year, with new school reading requirements in place. In addition to the reading portion of the program, we have some fun and educational performers coming that I think people will really like.”

During the program, there are story times planned for young children, craft days for older children, a family movie night, lessons about fossils and dinosaur bones, and live birds of prey, as well as an ice cream social July 31 for children who log at least two hours of reading.

The teens will have their own summer reading program.

“This year’s theme is ‘Beneath the Surface,’ so I am focusing on zombie- and vampire-related programming, such as movies, book clubs and even Wii gaming days,” said young adult librarian Brandi Swinehart. “Tweens and teens ages 11 to 18 can participate by reading for three hours and receiving prizes. Our average participation is around 50 teens, which we are hoping to match or even exceed this year.”

This will be the second year of the Adult Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is “Groundbreaking Reads,” and participants are asked to rate each book from one to five shovels.

Adults can sign up at the adult reference desk for the program that will run through July 29. Participants can read or listen to one book or as many as possible to take part.

Adult participants who want to take part in book discussions and special programs will have opportunities to take part in those activities. The program will have a celebration to mark the end of the program at 6 p.m. July 29.

“Last year, my goal was to have 30 people, adults age 18 and over, signed up,” Adult Services Librarian Suzanne Kent said in an email. “I was so pleased that 35 people signed up for the program in 2012. This year, my goal is to have 50 people participate in the program. 

“Some of last year’s senior participants thought it was great fun to participate in a program ‘just like our grandkids have at their local libraries,’” Kent said.

Also this summer, the library is once again a location for free lunches to anyone ages 18 and younger.

For more information about the library programs, including dates and times, call the library at (313) 343-2575.