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June 14, 2012

Crack a book, crack a smile: Reading means summer fun at area libraries

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Georgetown Elementary School fourth-grader Audrey Boyd loves a good book.

“I just like to read because, sometimes, I think about what’s happening in a book and it just makes my imagination grow,” she said.

But during summer break, students may not have as many opportunities or as much encouragement to read as they do throughout the school year. Local libraries hope to provide both to kids as they get rolling on their annual summer reading programs.

All three area main library systems, the New Albany-Floyd County, Jeffersonville Township and Charlestown-Clark County public libraries, have chosen “Dream Big: Read” as their reading program theme this year. Through a variety of crafts, speakers and clubs, each library reinforces this idea in their own unique way.

CHARLESTOWN-CLARK

For the past 30 years, the Charlestown-Clark County Public Library has offered summer reading clubs to the community. Consisting of five separate branches in Charlestown, Borden, Henryville, New Washington and Sellersburg, the system offers programs to residents of all ages.

“It’s the first time ever we’re doing summer reading club from babies all the way to adults,” children’s librarian April Beckman said. “The whole family can sign up for our summer reading club. All the prizes are slightly different depending on how old you are, but basically it’s just reading and earning prizes.”

Sixth-grade Borden resident Alex Heichelbech has enrolled in the program. He said the rewards have given him an incentive to pick up a book this summer.

“You get prizes when you read. You have to read a certain amount of minutes to get a prize. It will make me read, I’ll say that,” Heichelbech said.

Beckman said all the branches offer the free program. Registration is ongoing throughout the summer and participants have until July 31 to complete their reading. In addition, the libraries host other activities, such as story hour and art club, to keep kids active during the summer months.

“Summer reading club is important because it stops what I call the summer brain drain slide. Research and tests have shown that when kids take a big break during the summer they can lose up to two months of schooling,” Beckman said. “If you’re reading or using your brain to be creative, you stop that summer slide and you have a child that’s even more ready to start school in the fall.”

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