It's lunchtime, and students carrying lunch boxes and cafeteria trays begin filing into the school library and finding seats. Librarians from the school and public libraries eagerly await their arrival. Once everyone's settled, they facilitate student discussion of 16 recently published teen titles, reminding students to start with what they liked and guiding them to elaborate on any concerns, beyond simply "It was boring." After meeting, reading, and discussing for an entire semester, teens vote for their favorites. The results become each school's "Top Teen Picks" list. The public library's copies get an award sticker, and these books become the most sought-after titles on our shelves. The semester wraps up with a visit to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, where the students continue their tradition of lunching in the library while also touring the building, answering trivia questions based on the books, and cheering for their school's winners.
Remember when no one knew what a “staycation” was? Now many of us regularly enjoy these less expensive opportunities to explore our community without the added expense of hotels and a long car ride. We are lucky to live in an area rich with history, activities and walking trails to keep us entertained, but dreaming about future explorations that might take us farther afield is fun too. Whether you hope to take a cross country train ride, travel around the world, or experience a different culture, books are another way to explore the world from the comfort of your own home.
Celebrate a summer of reading excellence at our community fests with games, activities, Popsicles, and more! Local organizations are joining the fun: hosting games and activities; perhaps bringing a truck or a bus; and sharing practical information that every family will appreciate. While you're there, be sure to get a hug from Ready Freddy, the frog mascot for the Passport to Kindergarten campaign that the library works on with our partners, Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
We know how important summer reading is to preventing summer slide so every year we strive to make it fun and exciting. Please take a moment to complete our two-question survey telling us how we did. If you have a little more time, please share any stories or feedback about your family's experience.
It takes a community to raise readers! Encouraging summer reading as preventing summer slide helps, but more is needed. Community partners are vital to a fun and successful summer reading program, and we couldn’t do it without them! We are very grateful to our partners.
Area teachers see the effects of summer slide first-hand, so they recognize the need for students to keep reading all summer long. Before the school year ends, schools invite Youth Services librarians to promote summer reading in fun and lively presentations. This partnership allows us to promote our incentive-based program to thousands of area students.
Other community partners help us make summer reading fun!
Area seventh and eighth grade teens have created the ultimate summer reading list, the Cafe Book Top Teen Picks. Each school year, students from fourteen area middle schools read from among twenty recently published young adult books and vote on their favorites. The titles they choose the most frequently are stickered and displayed in library branches, and we can’t keep them on the shelves! This year, six titles received this honor.
Your children have worked hard this school year, and I know it’s tempting to give them the summer off. Don’t succumb! Summer reading helps prevent summer slide, the preventable phenomenon that occurs when brains are underutilized for the three months of summer vacation. That doesn’t mean you should sit your children down with a different workbook every day. Research has shown that there’s a simple, fun and free option—your public library’s summer reading club!
Your children worked hard this school year so don’t let them lose ground! Reading throughout the summer, helps students prevent summer learning loss and the public library offers incentive based programs making summer reading easy and fun. Fans of superheroes are going to love this year’s “Every Hero Has a Story” and “Unmask!” themes. Of course, there’s no required reading list at the public library so any book counts. After all, any reading is good reading!. While we have plenty of titles featuring your typical superheroes, here are a few suggestions that star the more unusual sort.
I am not afraid of snakes. I find them fascinating, and as a child I even saved my allowance to purchase one as a pet. In recent years, I’ve encountered many copperheads; the ones in the yard are no problem, I simply give them a wide berth and continue on my way. It’s those I’ve met while gardening that make me nervous. There’s nothing like happily weeding down a row only to arrive at the tail of a coiled poisonous snake. Once, a baby’s bright yellow tail tip even stroked my hand in its efforts to escape my rustling. I started to carry my cell phone and “announce” my presence before sticking my hands in, but I was still afraid a copperhead would misinterpret my gardening as a threat and lash out teeth first! So I did some research on copperheads and what happens if you’re bitten. Now, when I start to feel nervous, I remind myself that although poisonous, a copperhead bite isn’t deadly, and that I definitely want to ask for the anti-venom before finding out how much it costs. This knowledge has helped me face my fear and continue a beloved hobby. While not a guaranteed cure, the power of knowledge can be a great reassurance. Here are some books that might help soothe your wary loved ones.
Sign up for summer reading:
Create an individual account:
1. Click here and then choose the program that matches your grade or age.
2. Click “Sign Me Up.”
3. Complete the form. Be sure to note your username and password! Passwords must be 4 to 12 characters in length.
4. Visit your nearest branch and pick up your sign up prize!