From The Beacon: Library provides a summer 'splash'

It's fun, it's fabulous, it's free! What is it? It's the summer reading program at the Beaufort County Public Library. This year's theme is "Make a Splash @ at Your Library" for the children's program (ages 4 through fifth grade). The theme for the teen program (grades 6-12) is "Make Waves @ at Your Library." There also is a "Beginning Bookworms" program for little ones 2 and 3 years old. Why is a summer reading program so important? Studies have shown that elementary school students who have not continued reading during their summer vacation lose some of the reading skills they had acquired by the end of the previous school year. Reading requires practice, especially for those children just beginning to read.

IT'S FUN

During our Annual Summer Reading Program, children choose for themselves the books that they want to read. They can check out oodles of books from a vast selection at the library. They get a small weekly prize of their choice every week they visit the library. If they complete their reading goals, they receive a medal, a completion certificate and the chance to win a grand prize. Middle and high school students have required reading over the summer. Why not read for school and for the library program at the same time? They can win some fantastic grand prizes.

But don't think that all the fun is just for kids and teens -- the Summer Reading is for adults, too. There will be weekly prizes and programs you'll find engaging, such as watercolors demonstrations and sweetgrass basket weaving. Children imitate what they see (actually, they pretty much imitate everything their parents say and do), so let them see you reading.

IT'S FABULOUS

The "Beginning Bookworms" program encourages parents to read to their little ones. A bedtime snuggle is even better with a story or two. You can spend a hot summer afternoon inside with some picture books about snow and winter to cool yourselves off. Each week the bookworms visit the library they get to put more colorful dots in their reading record as they make a bookworm caterpillar of their own. At the end of their program, they will receive some exciting recognition.What a great sharing time for both adult and child -- reading and developing those early literacy skills that are so necessary for a child's success.

IT'S FREE

Then, there are the special activities in which registered children and teens may attend as part of the reading program. This is just a sampling of the programs that are available: craft programs, story times, movies, art programs, juggling, puppetry, steel drums, nature programs andboard games. Registration has already begun and continues until July 10. The actual six-week reading program fun begins June 14 and ends July 25. The program is open to all residents of Beaufort County. Now that you know it's fun, fabulous and free; make a splash, catch a wave and dive into a wet and wild summer at the library.