Library announces summer reading program for teens

Alpena County Library encourages parents of youth of all ages to help their child beat the summer slide by participating in its summer learning programs.

Summer is a time of fun and sunshine for people of all ages. For youth, summer is the ideal time to encourage them to maintain as well as further develop their literacy skills. It is also a great opportunity to encourage them to visit the library regularly.

For these reasons, the library is excited to launch its “Summer Rock and Reading Program,” which takes place June 25-July 30 and is for teens ages 13-18. This program is an expansion of the annual Children’s Summer Book Club for ages 3-12.

Those interested in participating in Summer Rock and Reading are able to sign up online through the library’s website or in person starting June 18. With a goal of 720 minutes over five weeks, participants can earn entries into grand prize drawings by logging minutes reading, listening to audiobooks or podcasts, or by attending programs.

Grand prizes include ukuleles, portable turntables and a Thunder Bay Theatre punch card. Completing weekly challenges through the online reading log will enter teens into random drawings to win gift cards and other prizes.

Assistant Library Director Jessica Luther, who is managing the program, shared that the project would not have been possible without local support.

“We are extremely lucky to live in such a supportive community,” Luther said. “We’ve received prize donations from Cabin Creek Coffee, Downtown Scoops, and Thunder Bay Theatre, plus Family Enterprise will be teaching our DIY Concert Tee program.”

The library’s summer learning programs will revolve around the theme “Libraries Rock!” A wide range of programs and events accommodating youth of all ages will be held throughout summer. Some event highlights include:

∫ June 25, 2 p.m. – Summer Rock and Reading kickoff

∫ June 28, 2 p.m. – Make your own concert tee

∫ July 9, 3 p.m. – Crafternoon Movie

∫ July 18, 3 p.m. – Ukulele Jam

∫ July 25, 3 p.m. – Crafternoon Movie

∫ July 30, 4 p.m. – Summer Rock and Reading wrap-up

Luther said summer learning programs are important for youth to participate in because they help mitigate the “summer slide,” which is when students lose literacy skills over the summer while their minds are not being stimulated educationally.

The summer slide, or summer learning loss as others also call it, is not a matter to be taken lightly, Luther said. According to the National Summer Learning Association, research over the years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of a summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.

Moreover, a 2010 report released by Dominican University shows that students who participate in library summer reading programs score higher on standardized reading tests than those who do not participate in them.

Summer Rock and Reading is supported in part by a grant from the Young Adult Library Services Association and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional funding from the Northeast Michigan Youth Advisory Council of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan and the Friends of the Alpena Library.

For more information, visit www.alpenalibrary.org, the library’s Facebook page or call 356-6188.