School is out for the year, but learning – and fun – continues this summer at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!
The library’s annual Summer Reading Program begins June 5. This year’s theme, “Adventure Awaits,” is designed to connect Muhlenberg County library patrons with the world at large.
The Summer Reading Program is one way the library seeks to keep people active and engaged with reading and learning all year long, library director Janet Harris said. She explained that students, in particular, tend to lose some of the skills they gained during the previous school year if they don’t continue to use those skills throughout their summer break, causing them to be at a disadvantage when school resumes in the fall. “’Use it or lose it’ is actually very true in this case,” Harris said. “Studies show that the ‘summer slide’ is a very real and damaging thing … students who don’t continue reading and learning through the summer can actually forget some of what they’ve already learned.” This phenomenon can cause students to struggle to keep up with the new information they are supposed to be learning after they return to school.
While the “summer slide” is typically considered to be more damaging to younger students, similar issues can affect all ages. Even adults who pause a certain activity for a period of time, whether it be work habits, reading or another hobby, can find it difficult to return to that activity later.
The library’s Summer Reading Program, which is open to all ages, is designed to help prevent these setbacks.
Participants in the Summer Reading Program are encouraged to read as much as they can throughout the course of the program. Each age group has a different reading goal, ranging from 15 minutes per day for young children to simply reading as much as possible for adults. Participants keep track of how much they have read, using either paper reading logs or online software called ReaderZone, and are rewarded for active participation in the program.
Participants can read whatever they would like for the program. Harris said, “Reading is reading, whether it’s a comic book, a how-to text or a classic novel. It can all be helpful, in one way or another, to our educational processes.
“We don’t try to tell anyone what they should or should not read. We just want them to read, period!”
However, while reading is the core goal, the program actually involves much more than that. Themed activities are held weekly for children and teens during their Summer Reading Program, which this year runs from June 5 to June 30.
Most of these activities are educational in some way, but they are also designed to be fun for the children and teens taking part. The library works throughout the year to figure out entertaining, creative ways to keep participants learning new information and skills, even if those participants don’t realize it immediately. For example, this year’s adventure-themed activities may include displays, crafts or games that expose kids and teens to information about new locations they haven’t yet explored in person, which can in turn help students be better prepared for future educational opportunities in the areas of science, geography, history and more.
“We love Muhlenberg County, of course, and we’re proud to be right here in our own little part of Kentucky,” Harris said. “But the world is a big place, and we hope our Summer Reading Program will help kids expand their horizons and learn about other locations in our own United States and even across the world, too.”
Children’s and teen activities will be held on the following days and times from June 5 to June 30:
- Storytime (18 mo.-5 yrs.) – 10 a.m. on Tuesdays (Greenville) and Thursdays (Central City)
- K-2nd grade – 1 p.m. on Tuesdays (Greenville) and Thursdays (Central City)
- 3rd-5th grade – 10 a.m. on Mondays (Greenville) and Fridays (Central City)
- Teens – 3 p.m. on Mondays (Greenville) and 4 p.m. on Thursdays (Central City)
The library will be closed on Monday, June 19, so programs scheduled for this date will be moved to Wednesday, June 21.
All of these activities are optional, and participants can choose which day/location they will attend according to their own schedules.
Additionally, the library will host an “Animal Tales” program, with live animal presentations, on June 9 and a “Tember’s Tales” program on June 30.
Children and teens participating in the Summer Reading Program will also be treated to a special pool party at the Greenville Municipal Pool on the evening of June 27.
Harris pointed out that, while the aforementioned schedule applies to younger participants only, the Summer Reading Program is not limited to only children and teens. She said, “That’s actually a common misconception, but it is absolutely not true! Summer Reading is for everyone!”
Harris said the library will have reading challenges and activities for all ages from storytime to adult throughout the month-long Summer Reading Program.
Participating adults are encouraged to read as much as possible during the course of the program and submit their reading logs to the library for weekly prize drawings. Adults will also have several activities available to them in June, including a Bingo night, a cooking class and a presentation about travelling to far-flung locations. More information will be available about these activities later.
The Adult Summer Reading Program will continue through July 7, with a finale program to celebrate participants’ progress on July 21.
Summer Reading Program registration is now open for all age groups. You may sign up online at https://forms.gle/r8dBaqma8N3UAdUq8 if preferred, or readers can sign up in person at either library. Participation packets including additional information, reading logs and extra activities will also be available at both libraries.
Summer Reading participants can begin tracking their reading on paper as soon as they sign up and pick up their participation packets. Online tracking with ReaderZone will become available on June 1.
Interested parties can also register for Summer Reading at a special kick-off event at Lu-Ray Park in Central City on May 27 following the Great American Kites program, with games at 5 p.m. and a movie at sundown.
“That’s going to be a great event, and we hope everyone will come out and join us for a fun time,” Harris said. “You won’t want to miss out!”
All Summer Reading Program events and activities are provided free of charge.
For more information about Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ “Adventure Awaits” Summer Reading Program, contact the library at 270-338-4760. You can also follow the library on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for further updates.