Summer reading program kicks off
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., Jul. 8, 2011
The Windsor Summer Reading Program drew more than 550 people and their families to the annual kick-off event in June, and the program is running through Aug. 13, said Windsor Public Library’s children’s director, Deborah Roe.
The kick-off event was provided for free for families with children ages 12 and under, and resulted in many sign-ups for the program this year, with children aiming for 600 minutes of reading during the summer.
“The most important thing about this program is that we want to get the children reading during the summer,” said Roe. “It has so much importance for the younger children because they make a lot of gains during the school year with their reading. We don’t want them to lose that gain.”
The Windsor public schools and the library have formed a small partnership in determining what books will be recommended for the children to read during the summer.
“What I have done is met with the school librarian, and we have gone over titles and we’ve come up with books that are good for children to be reading,” Roe said. “What is good about this is parents will not be confused, and it offers good continuity between the school and the library.”
The Windsor public schools also purchased books in the past for the library and often provided required summer reading books for many of the older students in town, who are required to read books during the summer and be assessed on the books in the fall.
The theme for the children’s program this year is “One World, Many Stories.” The theme encourages children to read books with worldly themes and features settings from all over the world.
The concept is not only to increase reading and reading comprehension, but also to educate children on cultural diversity, creating a great inter-disciplinary lesson for the young readers.
The library aids in the program by holding events at the library throughout the summer, including various crafts that children can “drop in” and do with their parents, siblings and friends. There are also storytimes throughout the summer and even a cooking program scheduled for Aug. 12 for ages 5 through 8. Parents are asked to attend the event with the children.
Another fun addition to the program this year is an online component to allow children to complete with their parents. All it requires is the child to have a library card, which can be used to log into the library's website.
There, they log in how many minutes they have read and other necessary information. The library will keep track of the minutes read by students throughout the summer as they pursue 600 minutes for the big prize.
For children who have not yet reached kindergarten, an ice cream social will be held at the end of the program. Children kindergarten-aged and older will be invited to a pool party on Aug. 20 at Goslee Park if they reach 600 minutes.
Other prizes along the way include two tickets to a future New Britain Rock Cats game, coupons for kids’ meals at Applebee’s, and passes to Quassy Amusement Park.
The kick-off event has propelled the program into success, early on.
“It’s only the beginning of July and we already have children coming out and claiming their prizes,” Roe said.
A teen program is also available for students in seventh grade through high school.
All information on the programs offered can be found at www.windsorlibrary.com.