This year, thousands of community members benefited from Summer Reading activities at Eugene Public Library with the theme “Dig Into Reading!”
Over 6,800 children and more than 1,200 teens will start the school year stronger this fall because they signed up for Eugene Public Library’s Summer Reading 2013 at one of the Library’s three locations or at the United Way Summer Reading Spot in Bethel, a designated Promise Neighborhood. To encourage them, each youth got to choose a free book to take home to keep, courtesy of the Friends of Eugene Public Library, and set a personal reading goal for the summer. Giving youth the power to set their own goals increases their personal commitment, which strengths the value of following through on something that is important to them.
To further engage youth with reading and learning, the Library offered hands-on activities at all locations, drawing about 4,000 kids and teens. From music to magic and art to science, young people explored a wide variety of topics and cultures. Also, during the summer the Library continued to offer weekly storytimes; twelve sessions a week that are individually designed to meet the pre-literacy developmental needs of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. More than 6,300 young children and their grown-ups attended storytimes this summer.
Eugene’s adults were great role models for youth this summer, making the most of their own Summer Reading choices and activities. Over 900 signed up for the adult Summer Reading program; Adult Summer Readers received Friends of Eugene Public Library book bags, plus coupons for Novella Café and the Friends’ bookstore, Second Hand Prose. Fifty adults shared book reviews online at the Library’s website, and a variety of author talks, workshops, and concerts were attended by 1,800 people.
Eugene Public Library’s annual Summer Reading program is fun for all ages – and it’s important to the community’s well-being. While local kids were having a good time enjoying stories, creating art, experimenting with science, and playing games at the Library, they were also fighting back the “summer slump.” That’s the educational term for the predictable drop in knowledge and skills that students experience between the end of one school year and the start of the next. Also known as “summer learning loss” and “summer set-back,” this phenomenon has been studied since 1906. Research shows that over summer break, the average student loses up to one month’s worth of progress, if they do not stay actively engaged with reading.
The Library appreciates everyone who participated in Summer Reading 2013, and thanks the community partners whose support helped make it possible: dozens of Library volunteers, the Friends of Eugene Public Library, the Eugene Public Library Foundation, United Way of Lane County, and Novella Café.