Under Cover: Summer Reading Program at NB Library

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summer-reading-logo-clear-background“School’s out for summer!”

At my children’s school this past week, during the final minutes of the last day, one could hear Alice Cooper loudly proclaiming this statement from the loudspeakers, and children counting down, in a multi-room chorus, 5-4-3-2-1…SUMMER!!

Children and teachers alike rejoiced at the end of the school year, and the ushering in of another sunny summer season. Some headed out for ice cream, others to the beach, and a few, like my family, were on the road within the hour to start their vacations.

Along with sunny skies, and the hibernation of the dreaded alarm clock, summer gives of the feeling of a wide-open freedom. Little minds swell with all the possibilities their school-free days hold. Then reality hits.

Somewhere around day two of the break, the realization dawns that there are a LOT of hours to fill in the day, and that school and homework usually take up a good chunk of them. Kitchens everywhere begin ringing with a new chorus: ”Mooooom… I’m, bored!”

At our house, we fill up some of those hours and attempt to keep our minds sharp with summer reading.

Even so, when it’s just mom “reminding” you to read each day, it can lack a certain sense of excitement—which is where the library comes into play.

This Saturday, June 21, the Newport Beach Public Library will kick off its Summer Reading Program. Designed to make reading fun, the program encourages children to read by offering a series of prizes and special programs.

This year’s theme is “Paws for Reading,” which means that program participants can expect lots of fun animal-themed activities. The program is open to children up to age 12, with special companion programs available to teens and adults.

Children can stop by any branch this Saturday to pick up their Summer Reading Gamesheet, and enter into a prize drawing. The Central Library will also host face painting from noon to 3 p.m. in the Children’s Garden.

If a trip to the library this weekend isn’t in the cards for you, never fear, you can also download the gamesheet online, and kick things off from wherever in the world you happen to be.

Young readers use the sheet to track their reading in twenty-minute blocks of time. For every five sessions completed, either reading independently, or being read to, they will be awarded a prize. Once the entire gamesheet is completed, children will receive a new book, and can enter into the grand prize drawing. Additionally, budding writers can pen a review for the books they complete, and enter into a separate weekly drawing by submitting their review.

The Summer Reading Program also gives families a great reason to visit the library with a series of great activities offering free family fun.

Activities will be offered regularly at the Mariners Branch on Mondays, the Central Library on Tuesdays, and both the Corona del Mar Branch and the Balboa Branch on Thursdays.

Here are just a few of the activities in store for library-goers this summer:

Sandy Lyn’s Musical Barnyard Extravaganza – June 23 and June 26: Sandy Lyn and her farmer musicians host a musical, educational, and interactive show.

Fantastic Patrick – June 24: Blending comedy and his unique circus skills, this show is exciting and hilarious, entertaining for children and parents alike.

Pete the Cat at the Library – July 7, July 8, and July 10: Come meet Pete the Cat, a favorite book character in person! Enjoy stories, crafts, and the chance to take a picture with Pete himself.

One World Rhythm – July 21, July 22, and July 24: Join in this highly interactive music program that gives everyone instruments to play. Drum along as we create rhythm together.

Pacific Animal Productions – August 4, August 5, and August 7: Animals in the library! Learn to identify the tracks each animal leaves and how they move. Do they fly, hop, slither, crawl, or run?

For more information, and a full listing of activities, visit newportbeachlibrary.org, or call (949) 717-3830.

Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys.. She can be reached at [email protected].

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