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Libraries keep kids reading during summer

Summertime for kids and parents is a chance to get away from school, but not to escape learning.

Both the Aubrey Area Library and Pilot Point Community Library have set up numerous programs over the next couple of months to encourage learning, which includes getting residents, particularly children, to read as much as possible. The reading program not only encourages youngsters to read, but it also gets them ready for the next academic year.

“They talk about children losing their momentum in their academic skills,” Aubrey library director Kathy Ramsey said. “So, the children who do read during the summer wind up in a better place academically than they did when the school year ended. The children who do not read end up losing several months of academic skills.”

Both libraries have established summer reading programs that run through early August. Each program will have participants fill out reading logs, which they can turn in to receive prizes and have their names entered into a drawing at the end of the program. Aubrey’s version is split into three categories: children, teen and adults.

“The more logs you fill out, the more times you are entered in the raffle,” Ramsey said.

At Pilot Point, kids read one hour for each year of their age, such as a 9-year-old reading nine hours, library director Wendy Turner said. They return their log, get a free book and bag of awards, and the library will put their names in a box for a drawing to win prizes.

Pilot Point’s library also will have an End of Summer Reading Celebration on Aug. 3, something the library hasn’t done before, Turner said.

“Summer reading is about kids reading for enjoyment, reading to keep up their reading level during the summer before school next year,” she said. “It’s all about literacy.”

Beside promoting literacy, both libraries also offer programs in which the community can come to listen to folks read stories or discuss particular interests. Pilot Point recently had a representative from Southwest Dairy discuss dairy farming, which included milking a cow. On Wednesday, members of Fort Worth Capoeira, which teaches Brazilian martial arts, are scheduled to provide some demonstrations and instruction as part of the library’s Family Wednesday program.

“We continuously provide different avenues of workshops, classes and other programs for everybody of all ages,” Pilot Point deputy director Erica Salinas said. “For adults throughout the year, we have classes going on,”

Such presentations, Turner said, may spark an interest in reading and learning more about the subject.

“It’s also about getting together within the community and making the community library a resource as well,” Salinas said. “We also provide programs for all ages, from toddlers to adults.”

Aubrey also plans to conduct numerous summer activities, including a yoga class — Pilot Point offers that as well — and there will be Saturdays when Aubrey hosts a therapy dog to which kids can read, Ramsey said.

“One of the more interesting ones [recently] was a 3-year-old girl got a book, sat down in front of the dog, opened the book and waited for the dog to read. [She] then turned the page,” Ramsey said. “We’re open for another therapy dog now, because we had one move away and now it’s only every other Saturday, so we’re looking for an every-other-Saturday therapy dog.”

Many of the library’s programs, Ramsey said, are led by volunteers.

“As we have volunteers show interest in programs, we try to be really flexible and try to tap into the community [aspect] of our volunteers to create programs that people are interested in doing,” she said.

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