Reading, discovery and dreaming big is what the Washington County Free Library system wishes for this summer by holding its annual Summer Reading Club. The Summer Reading Club is open to people of all ages, preschool to adult, with the goal of increasing literacy within the local community.
With this year's theme, "Dream Big: Read!," the Summer Reading Club hopes to provide a fun way for people, especially school-aged children, to continue reading throughout the summer months.
"Sometimes kids lose skills during the summer until they get back to school," said Jeff Ridgeway, 57, the head of children's services at the Washington County Free Library. "They have a literacy gap during the summer months. Because of this reading gap, children do not continue to use the skills they acquired in the previous school year."
Ridgeway said with the Summer Reading Club children can ready any book he or she wants.
"The important fact is that they continue to read," he said.
For the theme, Summer Reading Club Committee chaired by branch librarians worked with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a network of nationwide libraries that provide resources for summer reading programs.
They also partnered with the school system's literacy program to make the reading club materials more accessible to children in the school program.
This year, the Summer Reading Club began on Friday, June 1, and will end Friday, Aug. 31. To sign up, people can go to any of the Washington County branch libraries or the Bookmobile to register for free.
When registered, participants receive a bag with a kit that contains a game board with 50 stars to log their summer reading. A star is placed on the game board for every 15 minutes spent reading. The bag also includes a Chick-fil-A coupon, temporary tattoos and an instruction sheet.
As participants read, they mark their log in 15-minute increments with a star. When they achieve 20 stars, they get a prize, such as homemade rocket ships, glow-in-the-dark star constellation stickers, pens or pencils.