What should your child read this summer?
Has your child cracked a book since school let out?
Several studies have documented a “summer slide” in reading skills once kids go on summer vacation.  The decline in reading and spelling skills are greatest among low-income students, who lose the equivalent of two months of school each summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association, an education advocacy group. The loss compounds each year.
New research offers a surprisingly simple and affordable solution to the summer reading slide.  In a three-year study, researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville found that simply giving low-income children access to books  – and allowing them to choose books that interested them – had a significant effect on the summer reading gap.
Children who chose reading books and those who picked free activity and puzzle books were tracked for three years.  Those who had access to free reading books posted significantly higher test scores than the children who received activity books.  The effect – 1/16th of a standard deviation in test scores – was equivalent to a child attending three years of summer school.  The difference in scores was twice as high among the poorest children in the study.
One of the notable findings of the study was that children improved their reading scores even though they typically weren’t selecting the curriculum books or classics that teachers normally assign for summer reading.  That conclusion confirms other studies suggesting that children learn best when they are allowed to select their own books.
Bottom line:  What should your child read this summer?  Any books will do!  And participation in your library’s Summer Reading Program will help as well!

Summer Reading Program
This year’s free Summer Reading Program has only one week to go, with the wrap-up celebration party set for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31.  Detailed summer reading schedules are available at the library.  We urge you to pick them up and keep them handy so you don’t miss any of these free, fun events.  Also, reading logs are now available.  Please register online and print off a reading log.  You do not have to be registered with Summer Reading to participate in the fun library programs.

Activities calendars available
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library; we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are three versions – kids (includes tweens), teens and adults.

Free sushi session
This month’s do-it-yourself, hands-on workshop is a Roll Your Own Sushi session on Wednesday, July 29 at 4 p.m.  Our own Meg Wempe will be teaching the class. After demonstrations and helpful hints, participants will roll your own sushi. (Meg will pre-cook the rice to save time at the workshop.)  Materials for a basic sushi roll will be provided, with information about how to create more complicated rolls, similar to those seen in restaurants. No advance registration required.

Free movie Fridays
Join us July 17 and 24 for movies and popcorn – 10 a.m. for kids, noon for seventh-12th graders and 3 p.m. for adults.  Our contract does not allow us to identify the movies in the media, but you can pick up the kids, teen and adult activities calendars in the library with the film names.  There will be no movie on July 31 because of the Summer Reading party.

Free teen gaming
Join us Tuesday, July 21 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. for fun for teen gaming fans in the 7th-12th grades.  Practice your skills on the Wii and Xbox as well as board games.  No teen gaming on July 28.

Free preschool fun
Preschoolers and their families are invited to an hour of stories and music every Wednesday from 10 – 11 a.m.

Free Superhero Academy
Kids entering first-sixth grades are invited from 1-2:15 p.m. every Thursday this month to build costumes, learn about the science of superheroes and enjoy super activities.

Free baby/toddler time
This time is a half hour of stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones on Saturdays from 9:30 – 10 a.m.  Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills in everyday family life.  Recommended for children from six months to three years of age.

Free technology classes
Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10-noon Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays.  Drop in with your technology questions.  Note: No Tech Time today (July 23).  A more formal session requiring advance registration is Android 101 on Monday, July 27 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Bring your device for hands-on learning.

Free programmed Nooks
Reminder:  We have nine Nooks and three tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure.  The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers.  The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.

Free downloadable movies
For your viewing pleasure, we have purchased IndieFlix, a streaming movie service that gives library patrons unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries – on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed.  Also, PBS content is now live on the IndieFlix website where you will find programs such as “Mister Rogers & Me,” “The Day Carl Sandburg Died,” “The Science of Healing,” “Saving the Ocean,” “Forgotten Ellis Island,” “Ken Burns’ The Address” and “Kind Hearted Woman.”  You can access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on our library website.

“Breaking Bad” is the complete second season.  “Guarding Tess” is a comedy starring Shirley MacLaine and Nicholas Cage.  “Parkland” is the true story behind the JFK assassination.  “Copying Beethoven” stars Ed Harris and Diane Kruger.  “The Count of Monte Cristo” is the classic.  “The Englishman” is a comedy starring Hugh Grant.  “Super Buddies” is a Disney family film.  “Men of Honor” starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro is inspired by a true story.  “What Happens in Vegas” is a comedy.

Thrillers and mysteries
“After the Storm” by Linda Castillo is a thriller featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder.  “Cold Frame” by P.T. Deutermann is a thriller about domestic terrorism.

Other novels
“The Watchmaker of Filigree Street” by Natasha Pulley is set in Victorian London.  “Speak” by Louisa Hall explores the creation of artificial intelligence.  “This Year’s Best Science Fiction” is the 32nd annual collection edited by Gardner Dozois.

Large print
“The Witch of the Painted Sorrows” by M.J. Rose is a romantic suspense story.  “Eight Hundred Grapes” by Laura Dave and “The Marriage Season” by Linda Lael Miller are romance stories.  “I, Ripper” by Stephen Hunter is a thriller.  “The Guest Cottage” by Nancy Thayer is women’s fiction.

Story CDs
“Language Arts” by Stephanie Kallos follows an English teacher unable to connect with his son or ex-wife.  “A New Hope” by Robyn Carr is a Thunder Point novel.  “Wildfire in his Arms” by Johanna Lindsay is about a gunfighter running from his past.  “War of the Roses: Margaret of Anjou” by Conn Iggulden is the second book in this new historical fiction series.

Music CDs
Come in and take a look at the wide variety of music CDs we have available to borrow, thanks to donations from patrons like you.  You’ll find blue grass, classical, jazz, rock and more for your enjoyment.

 Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Jan Aarvold, Diane Davis, Lyn Dryburgh, Dick Robbins and, of course, our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote
“I’ve learned that you should keep your words both soft and tender, because tomorrow you may have to eat them.” – Andy Rooney (1919-2011), American radio and TV writer.

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