The Chestermere Public Library encourages youth to continue to read through the annual Summer Reading Program with continues until Aug. 31.
“It encourages kids to read over the summer because they lose a lot of their acquired literacy skills over the summer,” said the Chestermere Public Library Assistant Director Cathy Burness.
Every time a library cardmember enters the library, they will be given a ballot for a chance to win a prize basket.
However, the amount of time a child reads doesn’t correspond with any of the prizes.
“There are some kids who really struggle with reading, and they may read 15 minutes a day, and it’s exhausting for them. We have other kids who are naturally gifted readers, and they can read volumes in a day,” Burness said.
“We want to encourage the children who struggle to accomplish 15 minutes at least as much as the kid who already reads two books every week,” she said.
Not only does the Summer Reading Program encourage youth to keep working on their literacy skills, but it also gives them something to do throughout the summer.
“It gives kids something to do. Kids get stir crazy over the summer and need things to do. The children reading gives the parents a break too, but they can be here, and enjoy what’s going on,” Burness said.
“The summer reading program is really important because there is so much for everyone to do. There is less awareness of what is offered for the tweens and teens to do. We’re trying to provide them something of interest,” she added.
Throughout the Summer Reading Program, all of the staff get involved and make the program the best it can be.
“This year’s theme is bugs and insects. We’re trying to take a positive slant on bugs and insects,” Burness said.
In August the library will be offering educational sessions on a variety of bugs such as spiders, stick bugs, and bees.
“We’re super stoked about that,” Burness said.
Throughout the summer, the over 1000 registered children, teens, adults, and seniors with a valid library card are encouraged participate in a variety of events, including a scavenger hunt, family movie nights, and a stuffy sleepover.
All participants have the opportunity to win a variety of prize baskets, and see baby chicks, all while tracking the amount of time they read each day.
“The baby chicks are coming again, not because they have anything to do with bugs, but because people just love the baby chicks,” Burness said.
The prize baskets are for adults and children alike and include glitter play dough, markers, craft sets, stickers, games, glow in the dark slime, plastic insects, eye masks, chocolates, and candles.
The Summer Reading Program has been extremely well-received by the community because of the effort and dedication the employees at the Chestermere Public Library put into the program.
“The staff is amazing; anybody who walks into the library knows that. The front staff is who sells this. We’re involved, we’re excited about it, and we love it,” Burness said.
“We add to the portions of the program that people are really interested in, and the pieces that people have not been as interested in we either phase out or change up. We strive to have something for everybody,” she said.
She added, “If there’s anything that anyone thinks we should have, we’re pretty quick on the draw.”
For more information on the Summer Reading Program, or to stay up to date on programs the Chestermere Public Library offers please visit the website at https://www.chestermerepubliclibrary.com/.