The Morgan County Library has started signups for families and individuals to participate in the Summer Reading Program. The library encourages everyone to participate from babes in arms to 100-year-olds and even beyond, the library staff laughed as they realized there really are library patrons older than this.
The library staff recognizes the benefits of reading for a lifetime. The program runs from June 3 to Aug. 10.
The theme “Dig into Reading” will be personified with a worm farm and ant farm displayed throughout the summer. A paper dinosaur skeleton will be built as readers will add to the structure with bones representing their reading. The library wants to hear what you “dig up” while reading this summer.
The display case inside the front door of the library contains a broad array of prizes with balls and small toys for little ones on the bottom, to books and treats for adults on the top. They have a focus on tweens and teens, hoping to keep this important age group reading for enjoyment, which has been linked to success in school.
The library has given guidelines on how to earn a prize including 300 pages for advanced readers, 150 pages for chapter readers, and 20 books for elementary ages. Young children earn their prize by being read to.
While the library provides guidelines to earn prizes, they realize that individuals are at different levels. They want the program to be enjoyable and inspiring. The goals should be something that will challenge each reader, but also something that they can accomplish in a week. Parents and children can work together to set and achieve individual goals.
The prize cabinet will be well stocked and replenished throughout the summer to ensure readers can claim their prizes. Each reader can receive up to 10 prizes through the summer, up to one per week. Visit the library weekly to turn in reading and receive a prize. Keep track of minutes even while traveling to receive prizes.
Readers can sign up for the program any time during the summer and the program is not limited to Morgan residents. Children often visit grandparents and relatives during the summer and the library staff encourages anyone in Morgan during the summer to participate.
Babies and toddlers can gain a love of learning before they learn to recognize letters by sitting with moms, dads, siblings, friends and grandparents and have the world opened to them in a book. Children benefit from seeing the adults around them reading. Dads can be good role models of reading.
Many families have found great benefits from participating in the summer reading program. It gives the family a goal to work on together. They spend time reading together and also receive prizes as a family. Some families have a certain time of day set aside for reading that everyone grabs a book and quietly reads together.
While everyone receives benefits from learning and reading, it is particularly important to children. Studies have found that students who read at least three chapter books during the summer are better prepared to return to school in the fall. It helps them remember better and keeps them using skills they learn during the school year.
One critical age group is teens. During this period of time, kids start to get busy with different activities or have a stigma with reading. The library hopes to keep them reading because they have research showing that a teen who reads for pleasure will perform much better in school.
Last year the library gave 1,600 prizes to over 400 individuals who signed up for the program and read.
The library budget pays for a large portion of the prizes along with donations from the Friends of the Library organization. They also receive prizes given from people, often who have items left over from other events.
Many businesses from Morgan also opt to support the library and promote reading. Parkside, Debs, Subway and Hinds are some of the businesses that have already agreed to participate this year. The library makes it very easy by making the certificates, printing them, and taking them to the business to have signed. Teens especially favor these certificates.
Sign up is easy. Just provide your name and age. For this and any questions visit the library. Library hours are Monday-Thursday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Story hour is every Wednesday and Thursday at 11 a.m.