I’m bored, Mom! Parents are often faced with this inevitable statement from their kids a couple of weeks after school ends. Luckily they don’t have to look much further than Poudre River Library District for all of their boredom to melt away by participating in the summer reading program June 1 to August 10.

This year’s theme revolves around STREAM, which stands for science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math. Babies and adults can participate to earn prizes and attend events.

“The biggest thing is to keep kids reading through the summer. That’s why summer reading has been a library mission,” said Paula Watson-Lakamp, Communications Manager at Poudre River Libraries.

The Colorado State Library uses research from Stephen Krashen, a nationally known reading expert. Here’s what he has to say:

  • Reading gets better when you practice.
  • Reading helps improve writing.
  • Having a librarian makes a difference in the amount children read.
  • Children read more when they listen to and discuss stories.

“It’s fun because it’s like a game. This year’s program is especially fun because of the STREAM concept we’re doing. You know, the robotics program, science experiments, things that explode, all those kinds of things that kids love. I think this has really helped to make it a little broader than just read a book. And the kids seem to love that a lot,” said Watson-Lakamp.

But what do parents have to say about the summer reading program?

“I think parents are always appreciative of all of the activities we do. They’re looking for fun things to do. And I think they appreciate learning so a lot of the things we do are things that they can go home and do,” said Watson-Lakamp.

Elizabeth Womack’s children are participating in a summer reading program. She said, “Jason says he’s really excited to go to the activities and play with other kids. My favorite part is how they emphasize family and learning through play, especially for preschool ages who can’t read on their own yet.”

“My daughters regularly see friends from school and the neighborhood who are also participating in the program, which makes reading a fun and bonding experience at the same time,” said Aleksandra Anthamatten.

The community can help out with the summer reading program in various ways.

“Business can help us out by doing different types of sponsorships. We have really good support from our like-minded partners like Old Firehouse Books. They have a summer reading program but they also advertise ours. We are involved in the book fair that Wolverine Farm Publishing is putting on. We’re going to be involved in the street fair that the city is putting on. People who say there’s nothing to do in this town can really look at the library as a place where a lot of activities are happening, ” said Watson-Lakamp.

Transcript of Interview with Paula Watson-Lakamp:

Our summer reading program runs from June first to August tenth. We basically have three different kind of venues. One is babies and toddlers. One is kids, so that’s basically three years and up if they can read on their own. Then we have a teen one and then we have an adult one. The biggest thing is to keep kids reading through the summer. That’s kinda why summer reading has always been kinda of a library mission. This year the focus is on STREAM, which is science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math. And there’s a lot of emphasis in the Poudre School District on STEM and of course we had to add that R in for reading, so STREAM and that works great with Poudre River Public Libraries. So, we’ve got that going on. And basically what we’re asking the kids to do this year is to do ten hours of reading. Some library districts do it by book. We like to just do it by hours because we feel like even if a child or an adult is reading a magazine, or a newspaper, a website or whatever they’re still reading. We just go by hours. Also we have activities that the kids need to do. And then after they get their ten hours, then they can come in during one week and do a STREAM activity and then they get a special sticker.

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