Summer Reading for All Ages Begins June 1 at KCLS Libraries
“Libraries Rock!” programs help prevent school-aged youth from the academic “summer slide” and encourage adults to re-discover how fun it is to read
With summer approaching, King County Library System (KCLS) is ready to kick off its annual Summer Reading Program for all library patrons. More than 1,500 programs and events—from readings in the park to rocket-making workshops—are scheduled throughout the county, June 1-August 31, under this year’s theme, “Libraries Rock!”
“KCLS’ summer reading programs and activities aim to promote literacy, encourage exploration, and bridge the two-month education gap between summer and fall,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “Research has shown how important it is for kids to keep their minds active and engaged during their long break from school to prevent a loss of academic progress, known as the summer slide.”
The reading component of the KCLS Summer Reading Program encourages all patrons who participate to track their reading progress throughout the summer by registering for the program, logging in their reading minutes, and submitting their reading log to win prizes. KCLS librarians recommend good summer reads across genres through book lists, and count all formats of reading, physical or digital, as earned reading minutes.
KCLS’ Summer Reading Program is becoming increasingly popular. Last year, the number of children registered for the Summer Reading Program increased by 31 percent over 2016, with a total of 43,903 children registered, and a total of 21.6 million reading minutes logged. Teens also demonstrated an increase in their reading last summer with a submission of 11,613 reading logs, a 34.5 percent increase over 2016.
To help entice patrons of all ages to continue to learn and grow throughout the summer, a range of activities are planned to help supplement learning skills through interaction and engagement. With the recent opening of the new ideaX Makerspace at the Bellevue Library, KCLS developed programs throughout King County libraries to follow the focus of activities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Interactive science and art programs include engineering workshops, digital music production, podcast creation, ukulele lessons, magic shows and more.
The Summer Reading Program boosts its year-round reading programs, too, including KCLS’ Story Times and Ready to Read programs for preschoolers and their parents. These programs help children and their caregivers read, learn and play together regularly, and connect with others.
“Summer reading is a vital time for children and teens of all ages and stages, and King County Library System’s Summer Reading Program is an important link in helping youth and their caregivers in remaining engaged over the summer” said Cecilia McGowan, Children’s Services Coordinator for KCLS and the President-Elect for the Association for Library Service to Children. “Signing up and participating in reading and activities for preschoolers, elementary and teen youth offers them a way to attend fun and educational programs, earn prizes and return to school in the fall having maintained, if not increased, their reading competence.”
KCLS’ Summer Reading Program isn’t just for school-age children and teens. It also includes programs and events for its adult patrons as well. Summer Reading in the Park, now in its third year, are scheduled reading events throughout King County parks which encourage readers of all ages to connect with each other, books and nature. KCLS patrons can also meet the authors behind some of their favorite books. This year’s summer author series includes more than 30 author events throughout the county. Browse the KCLS events calendar to find an author event that interests you.
For additional Summer Reading Program information, registration and contest details, visit your local KCLS library, or online at http://www.kcls.org/summer.
About King County Library System:
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest library systems in the country. Serving the communities of King County (outside the City of Seattle) in Washington State, KCLS currently has 49 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2011, KCLS was named “Library of the Year” by Gale/Library Journal.
In 2017, KCLS welcomed more than 10 million visitors, and King County residents checked out nearly 21 million items, including more than 4.7 million digital eBooks and audiobooks, making KCLS the #1 digital-circulating library in the U.S.