West BloomfieldJune 21, 2012
Summer reading program heats up young minds
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
The West Bloomfield Township Public Library is hoping that vacationers young and old dive into a book as often as they dive into a pool this summer.
The library launched its Summer Reading Program June 16 with a day of kids activities, video games, a petting farm, miniature golf and more. Library staffers handed out summer reading game boards for which young readers acquire tokens or tickets to exchange for rewards later on.
According to youth services coordinator Jill Bickford, library staff has visited schools on West Bloomfield to promote the reading program. She said its purpose is to nurture children’s minds while they’re away from school. Reading even five books during summer break could improve learning retention, she said.
“Kids can lose as much as two months of what they learn over the school year when they don’t read over the summer,” Bickford explained.
As part of the program, the library gives kids a list of suggested titles based on the guests’ age or grade level. In addition, it helps match kids’ interests with books for recreational reading, she said.
According to Bickford, currently popular kids books include the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, and such franchises as the “Big Nate” and “Amelia Rules.”
“They really enjoy these books that are a cross between a graphic novel and a traditional novel,” she explained.
Besides encouraging book rentals, the library is also promising to entertain the youth by staging events, such as a July puppet show called “When You Wish Upon a Fish,” a Lego club and a science program from the Cranbrook Institute of Science.
Main library branch manager Mary Killian said the library encourages adults to choose from a “free-for-all” of books and magazines. She said an estimated 50-100 adults participate in the Summer Reading Program, and the ones who do may qualify for a $5 gift card for the library’s bookstore.
The library also plans to teach adults over the summer with a pop culture lecture series hosted by Wayne State University professor M.L. Liebler. He plans to talk about Ed Sullivan’s influence on American culture July 17 and Motown Aug. 7.
The library will provide audio entertainment with a July 24 outdoor concert featuring ‘80s cover band The Square Pegz, Killian said.
“We keep thing light in the summer,” she said. “People can bring a lawn chair or a blanket. … We get several hundred people on the back lawn of the library.”
To learn more about Summer Reading Program events, visit www.westbloomfieldlibrary.org/summer or call (248) 682-2120.
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