Through the Collaborative Summer Library Program, public libraries nationwide, including the Milford Public Library, spent summer weeks “digging into reading” to rack up hours spent between the covers of favorite books.
The children’s theme “Dig into Reading” encompassed everything from moles and worms to pirates and buried treasure, allowing children to collect gems for every hour spent reading. Prizes were also awarded and special events were held throughout the summer, culminating with a finale on Friday night featuring a dessert picnic and magician Steve Woyce.
“This is really a nice children’s program,” said Barbara Richardson, of Milford, who attended the finale event with her 12-year-old granddaughter. “They need to read in the summer so they don’t lose their skills and comprehension of the written word. She just thoroughly enjoys it.”
A total of 473 local youth participated in the program at the Milford Public Library, logging more than 2,360 hours throughout the nine-week program, said Children’s Librarian Robin Lank. All 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, America Samoa, Mariana Islands and the Cayman Islands are members of CSLP, founded in 1987.
The program provides incentive, like prizes and social interaction, for children to continue reading during the summer break while school is not in session, as well as shared themes and resources for public libraries.
“The program was created to keep children reading over their summer vacation in hopes that their reading levels would not drop,” Lank said.
“Research has shown very consistently that kids can really ‘slip’ over the summer months and lose a lot of ground, but it has also proven that reading over the summer helps to counter that,” said Milford School District Reading Specialist Holly Hermstedt. “The programs that the libraries offer are great ways to help kids get excited about reading and to get books into their hands.”
“Since reading is the key to all learning, reading is very important,” Lank said. “We’re hoping they’ll build a lifelong love of reading.”