Free Summer Library Programs: A Vital Resource for Parents

Jun 14, 2010, 20:19 ET from King County Library System

ISSAQUAH, Wash., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Put aside those nostalgic images of those lazy summer days when kids can just play outside or go fishin' in the local pond. It hasn't been that way for a long time, but somehow that's the sort of summer many of us envision for our kids. Then we wake up and realize that we need to structure their summers and find interesting, informative and affordable things for them to addition to all our regular tasks. That's when savvy parents turn to their neighborhood public library for a surprising array of ideas, activities and inspiration to tempt even the most bored child to perk up and find something interesting. And best of all, library summer programs are FREE, and they inspire enthusiasm for learning!

June 14 the King County Library System launched three different summer reading programs tailored to different age groups.

For the youngest—from birth through age four—there's a Summer Reading Activity Sheet with tips for parents and caregivers to help little ones develop the early literacy skills they'll need to be ready for reading by the time they go to school. Activities include reading with your child for at least 20 minutes each day. For wiggly ones, you can break that down into shorter segments—as long as their interest lasts. Just record your reading-together time by filling in the bubbles on the activity sheet and come to the library to collect halfway and finishing prizes—the same prizes that the elementary level participants receive. All preschoolers who complete their reading goal by August 31 will be entered in a prize drawing to receive a one-year family membership to KidsQuest Museum!

Kids from Kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to Make a Splash @ the Library with activities and events designed to inspire imagination and curiosity, and bring home the point that reading can be downright fun. Participants receive reading incentive prizes: A KCLS Reader Notebook for completing 500 minutes, and a cool KCLS Reader pen for 1000 minutes of reading. All who reach the 1000 minute mark are entered in a prize drawing for one of three new laptop computers.

If your summer entertainment-finding challenge also includes teens, the library has just the thing: the teen-specific Read 3, Get 1 Free program. Teens read books and write reviews, and choose a free book for every three reviews they submit.

Ask a librarian to recommend books, magazines, and activities that will interest your child, or try out the library's Web site and online catalog to track down library materials about the topics your teens enjoy.

The full KCLS summer reading programs launches June 14 on, with a comprehensive schedule of events and activities for all ages.

In addition to the summer special programs, KCLS libraries offer music, new and classic movies on DVD, how-to books, fiction, travel and outdoor guides—something for every interest. So plan to take the whole family to the library regularly this summer, and while you're there, be sure to pick up something you'll enjoy.

Full details are available online at Make a Splash this summer @ the Library: READ!

SOURCE King County Library System