Solano County Library is challenging children, teens and adults to read this summer, for fun. “Everyone is invited. Now that school is over, summer is a great time to read for pleasure. We want everyone in the family to discover a book they can’t put down,” said Bonnie Katz, Director of Library Services. Last year over 6500 people participated in the reading challenge and the Library’s free summer entertainment and learning events garnered over 11,000 in attendance.
To entice families to rediscover the pleasure of reading the Library is offering prizes, games and entertainment as incentives to read throughout the summer. Even children too young to read can get in the act with a special pre-reader game board. Participants can register as an individual or create an account for the family, online at www.solanolibrary.com/challenge or at their local library.
“We want the challenge to be fun, but the purpose couldn’t be more serious,” said Katz. The learning loss experienced by young people during the summer known as the Summer Slide, is especially acute for lower income students. Every summer, low-income youth lose the equivalent of two months of reading as opposed to their more affluent peers whose reading level stays fairly constant. According to researchers in the journal Educational Leadership, two-thirds of the 9th grade reading achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during their elementary school years. “Kids who enjoy reading are likely to do better in school, and it is easier to enjoy reading if you are good at it,” added Katz.
The Library’s reading challenge is complemented by free learning opportunities and entertainment that bring people into libraries. “Anyone who comes to the library is surrounded by books and people who love to read. Visiting the library, even online, almost guarantees that you will find something good to read,” said Katz. The free events, which range from reptile shows to ice cream parties to a 1920’s date night, are sponsored by local Friends of the Library organizations in each community served by the Library.
Free registration and more information about the Solano County Library Summer Reading Challenge can be found at www.solanolibrary.com/challenge.
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