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Ashton: Library offers summer reading programs for all

Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:56 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 1:10 p.m. CDT
Rick Ashton is the Director of the Downers Grove Public Library

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are not far away. And the learning, adventure and fun that come with reading always are close at hand at the Downers Grove Public Library.

When we put all the pieces together, out will come some exciting summer reading programs for kids of all ages, teens and adults. Summer readers will experience the delights of discovering new book favorites. They’ll also earn rewards like special paperback books, ice cream, popcorn, movie tickets and more.

Here are a few of the particulars:

• The Read-to-Me Club is for young children not yet reading independently. They can listen and look at books read aloud by adults, and they can, of course, sign up for their own library cards.

• The Red Readers’ Club welcomes readers from School District 58 and Downers Grove parochial school students in kindergarten through third grade, while the Orange Readers’ Club is for students in grades four through eight.

• Teens in grades nine through 12 will have their own club, whose activities include reading, social media and online participation in the library’s Minecraft game.

We don’t want to neglect the adult readers who like a challenge. Club participants will be able to earn chances at a drawing for restaurant gift cards along with other goodies.

Each club will have its own set of goals, milestones and rewards, organized around the theme of “Once Upon a Tail” [Tale], identified by three tailed mascots: a camouflaging iguana, a wide-eyed lemur and a brightly-colored peacock.

Best of all, summer reading will be organized and supported by the Downers Grove Public Library’s ace librarians. Staff members will visit the schools to provide information and encourage kids to sign up, beginning May 19.

While we’ll be focusing on Downers Grove Public Library cardholders, our neighboring community libraries will be offering similar programs. Throughout the summer, those Downers Grove librarians will suggest great books, spearhead programs and activities and hand out the prizes. Maybe they’ll even get a chance to read a few books themselves.

As the library’s building is under renovation in the next few months, summer reading may include some special challenges. It will be especially useful for our patrons to talk with staff members. We’ll help you navigate the construction site, find the books, music, video and technology you want, and make sure the summer of 2014 is a memorable one for all.

Rick Ashton is the director of the Downers Grove Public Library.

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