The Strathmore Municipal Library will be hosting a weekly summer reading group for children starting today, and July 7th will see the start of a teenagers program as well. 

The program takes place every Tuesday for kindergarten to grade 2, every Wednesday for grades 3 & 4 and every Thursday for grades 5 & 6. 

Karissa Carlson, Luke Schramm and Jeannie Nelson work in the program and share what kids can expect from this experience.

Schramm shares what kids can expect besides reading in this program.

“We will have some sort of activities to get started for them. There'll be some colouring things like that. We'll have some games planned, storytime, we'll have crafts lots of the weeks and then we also have library time where kids can go and sign out a book, and then we have reading logs that go along with the program. So our goal is to get kids reading as much as possible outside of the program as well on their own time in the summer, and we have lots of prizes and incentives to help them with that.”

The summer reading team is also trying to get kids to read more as decreased interest in literacy is a common symptom of summer break as Nelson illustrates.

"One of the major things is literacy levels tend to go down during the summer because a lot of people don't focus on reading, so then it makes it harder again in September to get going and so encouraging the kids to read throughout the summer is always good, and it's also a great way for kids to make friends and new interactions and still learn

Nelson added the summer reading team is also trying to get kids to hone in on a specific genre of literature during their summer break.

“Our theme is myths, legends, fairy tales, and all those sorts of things. The whole program is based on that. Every week we have a subtheme, so some of the themes are myths and legends from around the world. Fairy tales, mythical creatures, and then through the week the books will be specific towards that theme. It's not as heavily focused with the teen program though.”

Your child or teen could also win prizes just from reading during summer! One of the big-ticket prizes to be won is a Calaway Park pass in addition to many others.

Schramm explains that many of the donated items and prizes were only made possible with help from local businesses and sponsors.

“Lots of the local businesses donated lots of prizes or even cash to help support our program as well. I feel like it's helping us establish good relationships with local business owners who are good to support at a time like this. We've also had some places donate cash that's helped us pay for some of our community events and craft supplies and things like that  It's been really good to see, especially the willingness of local businesses to support us. It's been awesome.”

The summer reading team is very thankful for the support from the community. Carlson added that they are looking forward to seeing locals attend the library's upcoming events.

“We're especially hoping to get more people for our community events actually because those are specifically open to all ages. They are more specifically designed for kids up to age 12, but we're doing a mini Olympics, we're doing a movie day and we have lots of cool things going on on Fridays, so we encourage people to look for those.”

Hopefully, this will be the first of many Strathmore reading programs during the summer. With a dedicated and hard-working team leading the way, it's doubtful this will be the last program we see improving summer literacy.

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