The Book Drop: Readers under construction at Creston library

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Creston Valley Public Library chief librarian Aaron Francis has given this month’s column over to Summer Reading Club co-ordinator Emma Feltham:

As most parents and teachers know, reading during the summer is very important for children in providing opportunities to maintain, refine and expand their reading skills. Summer programs like Summer Reading Club help bridge children from one school year to another, and it is well documented that registering a child in summer reading programs significantly improves their performance in school the next year.

Summer Reading Club is a fun, interactive and rewarding way for kids to maintain healthy reading habits, while taking part in activities and crafts. Kids keep track of their reading with a reading record that they receive upon registration. Each week they mark their progress and by the end of the summer the record should be filled. Every child receives a medal to congratulate them on their dedication to reading.

This summer, the BC Summer Reading Club theme is “Build It”. This theme is perfect for supplying children with a summer of crafts and games all centered on constructing large things from smaller ideas, building their reading skills and having fun. The program will run for seven weeks and features activities, story times, crafts, scavenger hunts, reading recommendations, colouring contests and lots and lots of prizes! Each week focuses on a different sub-theme. Book selections, activities and crafts are all tailored to fit a particular sub-theme, so that the program is structured and relatable.

Every year, a featured entertainer is chosen to tour and visit all the libraries in B.C. This year’s entertainer is the Purple Pirate from Burnaby. The Purple Pirate does a variety of shows ranging from anti-bullying and bike safety to dancing, magic and comedy. Purple Pirate will be performing in Creston at 4:30 p.m. July 7 in the Canyon Street Walkthrough.

I grew up in Creston and for many years Summer Reading Club was something I looked forward to all year long. I loved filling out my reading records, doing crafts and singing songs. When I was that age, the library was still in the old building and Summer Reading Club was in the dark, musty basement. Going down the stairs into that cool basement for an afternoon of summer reading fun is something I remember very well.

When the summer was over, I would leave the library, shiny SRC medal strung around my neck, proudly showing the world that I was a reader. It is kind of strange to be running a program that I once attended, but I think it helps me know what the kids like to do and to be honest I probably have just as much fun now as I did when I was their age.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be co-ordinator two years in a row. I hope to see many new and old faces at the program this year.

You can register for Summer Reading Club at the Creston Valley Public Library. Programs begin July 14.

Emma Feltham is the Summer Reading Club Coordinator at Creston Valley Public Library. She is currently reading Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

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