The circus troupe, Clan Tynker, will peform at 6 p.m. Monday at Ashley Pond. Courtesy image
As school lets out for summer, now is the perfect time for parents, caregivers, children, and teens to come to the Los Alamos County Library System and participate in all the fun of our Summer Library Club.
“We’re so happy that our Summer Library Club is back,” said Angie Manfredi, head of Youth Services. “We have worked to make the program engaging and active. Summer Library Club will encourage participants to write reviews, visit museums, attend library programs, and stop by to visit the library every week to participate in challenges. And reading is still part of the program because we encourage parents and kids to think of summer as a time for kids to be empowered by the ability to choose their own reading. We’re so excited because for the first time, we’re letting kids set their own reading goals instead of trying to prescribe a certain number or pages or minutes. We want to give choice back to our kids and that starts by letting them set their own reading goals. They can choose 500 minutes or 10 books – it’s up to each individual reader.”
Studies show that students who do not read during the summer can experience “summer set-back,” losing ground in learning and returning to school less ready for the next year than when they began their summer break. The best – and most fun – way to stem summer set-back is to make sure kids and teens stay engaged with reading and learning all summer long.
There are programs designed for all ages of readers, including a special program for 0-3 year olds focused on developing early literacy skills for developing baby bookworms. Early readers and elementary school kids have their own programs and there’s a separate program for older kids in seventh grade and up. Participants can start the fun by stopping by Mesa Public Library or the White Rock Branch library beginning on Monday and picking up their summer library club passports. All children who finish will receive a free book of their choice as well as fun prizes throughout the summer, from pencils and bookmarks to passes for a free one-time child admission to the Aquatic Center.
Another highlight of summer is the special programming. “We’ve added programs to nights and weekends,” Manfredi said, “because we really want to encourage families to come to the library and we wanted to give working parents a chance to participate.” Saturday and weekend events this year include celebrations for favorite characters and series like Trolls, Paw Patrol, and the I Survived book series.
New this summer is Throwback Thursday: a biweekly program where kids will learn about the games, stories, songs, and traditions from eras in the past. “We’ve loved our American Girl program,” Manfredi said, “but we’re excited to try something new that will let us engage with the past in a new way.” The library is also re-launching their Lego Club as Build It! a biweekly program that will include a story and several different kinds of blocks to build with.
There are also returning summer favorites like Ready, Set, Read and Meet the Music. Ready, Set, Read is a weekly storytime for older children ages 4-8 years old. A more recent returning favorite is Meet the Music, beginning weekly in July. Meet the Music looks at biographies of famous musicians and then includes listening to their performances. “We’re also hosting the Stuffed Animal Sleepover again at both libraries,” Manfredi said, “it’s a huge hit. The kids love leaving their stuffies at the library for the night.”
Regular storytimes and Music and Movement continue as well. The White Rock Library will continue hosting their weekly family movie on Thursdays and have added a hands-on family activity beforehand. The activity begins at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m.
For teens there are programs celebrating fandom, games, anime, and the newest young adult books and two special book clubs that will include live Skype sessions with authors. “We’ve also totally revamped the summer reading program for teens and tweens,” Manfredi added, “to make it more simple and engaging – so we’re pretty excited to see how that works!”
The program kicks off with a special performance from circus troupe Clan Tynker 6 p.m. Monday at Ashley Pond. Rain or shine the show will go on, so come early to picnic on the grass and get a good spot. Bring your own blankets and chairs.
The Los Alamos County Library System summer library club begins on Monday and runs through July 30. There are programs available for children from birth to age 18.
All programs are free of charge and do not require registration unless you are planning to bring five or more children, in which case call Youth Services.