Summer is just around the corner, and at the library, we couldn’t be happier. Summer is a special time for us, a time when the sounds of children’s laughter and eager, excited voices fill the library; the Children’s Room overflows with youthful energy and enthusiasm. Children love to read; they love to come to the library, and we love that they come.
Some may wonder about the importance of reading for children today. After all, so much of learning and entertainment involves looking at a screen, it is tempting to think that reading doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Well, there are actually a number of good reasons why children – and all of us – should read. Here are just a few for you to consider.
Reading exercises our brains. It’s a complex mental task that involves strengthening and building brain connections. Reading gives us insight into the world around us – about people, places and events outside our own experience, and helps to build background knowledge. Reading develops our imagination, helps to develop empathy, improves our ability to concentrate and enriches our vocabulary. Reading also relaxes the body and calms the mind, but, most importantly, reading is simply fun.
Books take us to places we will most likely never visit, and allow us to experience events far beyond our daily lives. Reading lets us travel without moving our feet – around the world with Professor William Waterman Sherman in The 21 Balloons, by William Pene du Bois, or sailing the high seas in the magical world of The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons, by Barbara Mariconda. While reading a story you read the descriptions, settings and characters but you imagine it all by yourself – so for every story you read – you imagine a world of your own – and since you are the creator of this world – the experience is more fulfilling and fun.
Every summer the library offers an enjoyable way for children to include reading in their summer activities. It’s the summer reading program. This summer’s reading theme is On Your Mark, Get Set…READ! We’ll learn to draw caricatures, dance to Zumba music, stretch our bodies with yoga, build robots with staff from the Rhode Island Computer Museum, enjoy stories, songs and games with a sports related theme, create works of art and spend time in creative play with LEGOs. Children who complete a reading activity card or reading time card receive a prize and a ticket to our Old Time Summer Picnic. This all makes for summer reading fun.
The program kicks-off on Saturday, June 25, from 10:00 – 2:00, as we celebrate our newly renovated Children’s Room. We invite you and your child to visit the library, pick-up a summer reading kit, register for special events and programs and add reading to your list of activities this summer. For a complete description of the program, weekly activities and special events, visit our website, raynhampubliclibrary.org and click on Kids Summer 2016, or call the Children’s Room, 508.823.1344.