Registering for summer reading is a fun and smart way to start the summer. Mesa Public Library is participating in the countywide Summer Reading Program, June 1 through Aug. 1, encouraging people of all ages to read at least 20 minutes a day.
This year's theme is "Oceans of Possibilities," encouraging pre-readers through adults to explore the many stories from under the sea.
"Most people don't realize our summer reading programs are open to adults as well as children. That's why we want to make summer reading a family affair and encourage parents to join in on reading with their kids," said Polly Bonnett, Mesa Library Director. "Reading over the summer is vital for children to keep up their reading fluency and comprehension skills."
There will be kickoff events at all three Mesa Library branches June 1:
- Main Library, 64 E. First St., features fun craft activities from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Vice Mayor Jenn Duff and Councilmember Julie Spilsbury are scheduled to participate
- Red Mountain Branch, 635 N. Power Road, features activities, treats and craft kits from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Councilmembers David Luna and Mark Freeman are scheduled to participate
- Dobson Ranch Branch, 2425 S. Dobson Road, features a scavenger hunt and the opportunity to contribute to a community art project from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Participants can earn online badges to keep a healthy competition with family and friends. A link to register and get information on prizes is available at www.mesalibrary.org/summerreading. You can also log your reading hours. Every minute spent reading equals one point.
There are prizes for all ages when they log 250, 500, 750 and 1000 points. Based on point levels, prizes include restaurant coupons, Arizona State Parks passes, Phoenix Mercury tickets and free books. All prizes and coupons are subject to availability while supplies last. Readers who finish the program with 1000 points will be entered for numerous raffle prizes
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.