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Sexton: How to stop summer reading loss with your local library

Most people have heard about summer reading loss.

While school is out, children and teens that do not read or engage in other educational activities can lose important reading skills. Participation in a summer reading program can help curb these losses while incurring several additional benefits. According to the American Library Association, these programs help encourage kids to become lifelong readers, draw in reluctant readers through activities and generate interest in the library and books.

Although we think these are all great reasons to participate in summer reading programs, we also believe that one of the biggest reasons is fun and we have a lot of fun for all ages all summer long. You can earn incentives throughout by reading and attending programs.

We have programs for children, teens and adults. All of the Berwyn library's summer reading programs started on Saturday and run through Aug. 2.  Each has their own theme, but all are related. This year, each program has a science motif.    

For children the theme is, Fizz, Boom, Read. Conjure up all kinds of experiments at our ongoing Mad Scientists Club, or come see a pygmy hedgehog, a Patagonian cavy, a white-nosed coatimundi and more at our Amazing Animals program on June 23.  Bring the whole family to the Secret Laboratory on July 9.  I would tell you more, but I have been sworn to secrecy!     

Spark a Reaction is our program for teens. Teens can win a Beats Pill Speaker or a programmable build-your-own robot just by reading books and attending awesome programs. Make your own cosmetics and spa items at The Beauty of Science program on June 25, or create chemical reactions and blow stuff up at the program, Don’t Try This at Home, on July 30.  

Summer Reading isn’t just for kids! The adult program, Literary Elements, lets everyone in on the fun. Adults can win one of our three grand prizes – a family membership to the Field Museum, a Bluetooth Hands-Free Speakerphone, or a $100 gas card. 

Attend programs for more chances. On June 28, see Leslie Goddard’s performance about Jane Austen and her women, and on July 26, find out more about your brain through the What Color is Your Brain program with Sheila Glazov.  

These are only a sampling of the many programs offered all summer long, so stop by the library and sign the whole family up for summer reading programs. 

Kathy Sexton is head of the Readers' Advisory and Teen Services departments at the Berwyn Public Library

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