Summer Reading Program

Lanyine Sajous of Crafting with Lala is pictured assisting children with a craft project during a past summer reading program at the Calhoun County Public Library. Registration is underway for this year’s summer program. (Wave file photo)

Registration for the Calhoun County Library Summer Reading Program is now underway.

Calhoun County Children’s Librarian Kelley Ashley said that studies show that children who don’t read over the summer lose at least two months of reading development.

“This is often referred to as ‘the summer slide’ or the ‘summer learning loss.’ On the other hand, students who do read over the summer may gain a month of proficiency in reading,” she said. “Reading over the summer is not a suggestion to keep kids busy; it’s a critical requirement to help students stay on track for their entire educational career and beyond. I encourage students to read in an effort to strengthen their reading skills. Just like exercising keeps muscles in shape, reading keeps the brain in shape. If you don’t exercise, you lose muscle, and if you don’t read, you will lose literacy skills. Also, the programs we have at the library are fun, and we always learn.”

A modified version of the program was held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to think outside the box for sure last year! We made Take & Make kits for them to pick up and did all programs virtually. We were able to log the reading just like we had in the past since it is on an app and very easy to use,” said Ashley. “This year, we will be holding the events with larger crowds expected at the Bayfront Peninsula Pavilion.  Watch for updates on our Facebook Page - Calhoun County Public Library.”

Ashley said between 100 and 150 children usually participate in the program, which begins on the first day of school, Thursday, May 27, and ends Saturday, July 17. Children from birth to age 17 are eligible to participate by logging reading minutes and attending the summer programs offered by the Calhoun County Library branches. Children can register for the program at cclibrary.readsquared.com.

A come and go kick-off ceremony will be held Saturday, June 5.

“The children log the minutes that they read each day on the ReadSquared app, or they can pick up paper logs at their library,” said Ashley. “That is how we determine the top readers and how all participants get entered for prize drawings after the cut-off date of July 17. We get donations from the community and sponsorships from area businesses.  We have many prizes, from books, pencils, toys, coupons to area restaurants, and the top readers get a Kindle. We will have an awards ceremony at each branch Library the last week of July.”

Special programs over the summer are scheduled. There will be a crochet class and a Chopped program hosted by Karen Lyssy of the Texas Agrilife Extension Agency. Creepy Crawlers with Michel Price will visit with snakes, spiders, and all things creepy. Registered therapy dog, Dixie the Retriever, is on the list of programs. Dixie is a hunting dog that competes at the Master National Retriever competition. Children will learn how to love, play with, and train a top-level hunting dog.

“We will also have John O’Bryant, a high-energy magician from San Antonio that will be held at the Bayfront Pavilion in Port Lavaca at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 17,” said Ashley. “We need a nice turnout, so please mark your calendars.”

Programs are scheduled during the following times: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, at the Port O’Connor Branch; 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Seadrift Library; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Story Time at the Calhoun County branch (except for Wednesday, June 16, will be scheduled for Thursday, June 17, at the Bayfront Peninsula Pavilion); 10:30 a.m. Thursday, at the Point Comfort Library. (Note: the Point Comfort Library is under renovation so programs may be relocated to the Point Comfort Bayfront).

The library provides information and research services to meet the needs of the community. The library encourages children, teens, and adults to continually educate themselves through the use of the library facilities. The library offers book clubs, a crochet group, and tutoring during the week. Hoopla, a digital media service with ebooks, music, and movies to watch on a phone or tablet, is also offered.

For more information, call 361-552-7323 or visit the Calhoun County Library Facebook page.