School's out and what's a better way to start the summer than registering for summer reading! Mesa Public Library is participating in the countywide Summer Reading Program, encouraging people of all ages to read at least 20 minutes a day.
The theme of this year's program, which begins June 1, is "Tails & Tales," encouraging readers to explore the many stories of the animal kingdom by reading, completing challenges and attending virtual events and participating in community experiences.
"Most people don't realize that our Summer Reading Program is open to adults as well as children. We want to make summer reading a family affair and encourage parents to join in on reading with their kids," Mesa Library Director Heather Wolf said. "After the year we have had and the interruption to learning that our children have experienced, reading over the summer is even more important to keep up their reading fluency and comprehension skills."
The program plays a vital role in helping to reduce the "Summer Slide" or the learning loss experienced while transitioning between school years. Studies have shown that students who participate in a summer reading program have better reading skills at the end of the third grade and score higher on standardized tests than students who do not participate. Summer reading loss is also cumulative - by the end of 6th grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates. Reading just five books over the summer can prevent summer reading loss.
Participants in the Summer Reading Program earn one point per minute for reading physical or electronic books or listening to audiobooks. Additional points are earned by attending virtual events hosted by librarians and completing online library challenges.
Prizes are based on the number of points readers achieve. Pre-readers and kids up to age 12 who achieve 500 points receive restaurant coupons while all ages who accumulate 750 points earn an Arizona State Parks Pass. Anyone reaching 1000 points can choose a free book or donate it to a local Head Start classroom. Prizes and coupons are based on availability and subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grand prize drawings will also be held for a chance to win a Phoenix Zoo Prize Bundle, Harkins Theatres Family Prize Pack, a Sea Life Aquarium Family 4-Pack and a Legoland Discovery Center Family 4-Pack.
Mesa's Summer Reading Program continues through Aug. 1. To register, visit www.mesalibrary.org/events/summer-reading.
Contact: Kevin Christopher