With the start of summer comes lazy days by the pool, eating ice cream and picnics in the park. But the Westbury Memorial Public Library wants to make sure reading’s also on the top of your summer to-do list, and is once again holding their popular summer reading program for kids and teens.
Emily Farrell, Head of the Children’s Library says the goal of the summer reading program is to keep kids actively reading throughout the summer.
“There’s lot of evidence that says kids have to keep up with reading to not lose what they’ve learned through the school year,” Farrell said. “There’s an emphasis on what they’ve done through the school year and we want to show them reading is fun.”
In keeping with this year’s summer reading program’s “Fizz Boom Read” theme, the library has several science-related activities planned, including visits from Mad Science, geologists and science storytellers. They will also have storytimes each Wednesday in the courtyard. Program participants do not have to adhere to a specific reading list and there’s no minimum or maximum to how much they have to read to be able to attend the programs.
“They can read whatever they want. As long as they’re reading they can come in each week,” Farrell said.
The Children’s Library has seen increasing success with their summer reading program, last year over 400 students registered and this year they’re anticipating even more will sign up. This year’s program kickoff party is June 30. Children in pre-K through sixth grade can register for the six-week program and enjoy a craft and treats.
The Young Adult section of the library will also host several summer activities to engage readers. Each week, the library will host a free weekly class presented by the Long Island Children’s Museum where teens can make their own music video, create a necklace, learn how to DJ, make cupcakes, play with circuits and more.
Teens can also join the summer reading club, where they will be challenged to write a short book review for each book they read. For each review, they will receive a raffle ticket and there will be weekly raffle drawings for prizes including gift cards, books and a Kindle.
The programs end with a pizza party featuring live music on Aug. 15 for those who have read more than two books.
Young Adult librarian Ali Blau says that summer is a busy time at the library, but one of her favorites.
“It’s a great opportunity to see different faces. In the summer we get lots of different kids who now have more free time and there’s a wider variety of people,” Blau says. “It’s a great opportunity to see all those kids and interact with them and make sure they know what we provide.”
For more information, visit www.westburylibrary.org or call 516-333-0176.
Summer Reading Suggestions
Want to read but not sure where to start? Here’s a list of some summer reading suggestions from Emily Farrell and Ali Blau, for readers of all ages.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont
One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo
Press Here by Herve Tullet
There’s a Fly Guy in My Soup by Tedd Arnold
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
We are in a Book by Mo Willems
The Abonimables by Eva Ibbotson
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Young Adult Fiction
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: A haunting, summer mystery set on a posh private island
Great by Sara Benincasa: A modern retelling of The Great Gatsby in the high society world of East Hampton
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow:A fast-paced techno thriller
If I Stay by Gayle Forman: A beautiful and moving tear-jerker
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal: A dark (but sweet) twist on classic fairy tales