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Thomas: Westmont library encourages reading all summer long

WESTMONT – Summer is finally here, which means it's time for children to go to the pool, head to camp, catch lightning bugs, enjoy ice cream, and spend time with friends and family.

Even though they will be taking a break from school, it is important that children continue to sharpen the skills that they acquired during the previous year. Children who don't read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress, according to Reading Rockets. This loss, commonly known as the “summer reading slump,” can have a long-term effect on academic performance.

The Westmont Public Library summer reading program, Reading Rodeo, is meant to motivate children to read daily while away from school.

During this nine-week program, which runs through August 2, children can read for 20 (or more) minutes per day. Interested children should visit the youth services department and pick up a reading log sheet so they can start reading and earning great incentives like coupons from local businesses.

Some of the things that children can read include: books from the library (or from home), magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, cookbooks, audio books, and even a cereal box – although a cereal box may not be the most exciting read. The most important thing is the fact that they are reading.

When I go to the schools to promote summer reading, I like to explain that the beauty of reading is that it can be done in so many different places: at the pool, away at camp, outside, with a friend, up a tree, even while on vacation. My hope is that children and their parents remember to set aside time each day to read. Kids will not only continue to build on their already established reading skills, but they will also become well-rounded individuals as they are sure to take something away from everything they read.

So come to the library and pick up log sheets (if you are still in elementary school) and teens and adults can visit to log their reading.

Lynn Thomas is Youth Services Coordinator at Westmont Public Library.

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