Oskaloosa.com

August 22, 2013

Summer reading programs good for minds of all ages

By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Summer reading is good for all ages.

Liz Anderson, youth librarian at The Oskaloosa Public Library, said the children's summer reading program wrapped up this past Friday.

Anderson noted that around 600 children were signed up for the program, with around 200 under the age of 5.

Part of the program for children included filling out a reading log, noting the amount of reading each child completed this summer. The children read a total of 14,194 books, Anderson said.

Reading is, of course, not just for the very young. The Oskaloosa Public Library held summer reading programs for teens and adults this summer, as well. Library Director William Ottens noted that these programs were revamped this year.

This summer, 41 teens and 93 adults participated in reading programs.

Teens participating in the summer reading program also completed reading logs. They could get credit on these logs for doing activities such as coming to the library's classic movie showings on Monday nights or “liking” the library's Facebook page. Adults could get credit for activities, as well.

These activities provided opportunities for “cultural enrichment,” said Ottens.

Anderson agreed, saying many of the activities for children encouraged them to improve literacy skills.

Keeping kids engaged in learning is important over the summer months.

“Part of the idea of the summer reading program is that it keeps their minds engaged so, that way, when they start a new school year in the fall they won't be as far behind,” said Anderson. “It helps keep their reading skills sharp.”

This year, over $3,000 was donated by local businesses, organizations and groups in the community, said Ottens. He said the summer reading program wouldn't be possible without those donations.

“We really appreciate that support,” he said.

Ottens noted that some of the teen activities done at the library will continue this fall. Starting on Sept. 3, the library will offer a chess club for teens on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m., and Dungeons and Dragons Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.