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Find summer’s reading advantage

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:08 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Sharon Karpiel

With summer right around the corner, we’re gearing up at Elmhurst Public Library for our annual summer reading program. The Kids’ Library will be particularly busy as 5,000 Elmhurst children participate in the program.

At any given time in the Kids’ Library in June, July and August, we have hundreds of people reading books, learning on the computers, checking out the fish tank and logging their books to earn special prizes.

We’ll host special programs throughout the summer related to this year’s theme, “Dig into Reading,” including a “Mud Day” celebration, “Worms are Wonderful” presentation and a “Big Digger” introduction to the big rigs of Elmhurst Public Works.

One reason why the summer reading program is so important is to avoid what experts call the “summer slide.” Studies show that this noted decrease in reading skills occurs when students forget some of what they have learned during the summer break. Just as athletes lose some of their skills if they don’t practice, children who spend a summer vacation without books lose reading skills.

We partner with teachers in the area, hosting school groups to visit the Kids’ Library and learn more about the summer reading program. We’ve had lots of new little visitors this month at EPL! All of this works in concert to help young readers continue to work on their reading skills during the summer months.

Elmhurst kids have a great time with summer reading, but the program also is for middle school and high school students as well as adults. Everyone has the chance to win great prizes, such as pizza, frozen treats, giant prize baskets and eReaders. Join us for our kick-off day June 1 for programs featuring juggling, puppets, face painting and much more.

Sharon Karpiel is the department head of the Kids’ Library at Elmhurst Public Library. For information about the summer reading program, visit bit.ly/EPLSummer

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