Wendy Rushing of the Winona-Montgomery County Library said on average, 2,500 books are checked out in June and July as part of the summer reading program.
“I believe our summer reading program is important to our community in that it gives children the opportunity to keep reading throughout the summer and improve their reading level,” Rushing said. “Many of our books are labeled as accelerated reader books. Parents can bring their children in and pick out books specifically on the child’s reading level or higher, and in the fall when school starts back the child can take accelerated reader tests for AR points.”
“Our summer reading program also gives children of the community an opportunity to come to the library to see different fun and educational shows free of charge,” Rushing said. “I believe reading is the key to everything, in school and in future successes. It makes our hearts happy to see children coming in, reading, and enjoying all our library has to offer.”
This year’s theme for Summer Reading Programs throughout Mississippi is “Build A Better World.” The summer reading program is open to children ages preschool through sixth grade. Children that register for the reading program will get a poster on the wall with their name. The registration card asks for the child’s grade and reading level. Each time a certain number of books is read on an appropriate reading level and turned in on their reading record, each child will be eligible to pick a prize from the prize chest up to one time per week.
Also, they will have a “stack of books” added to their poster to help build their “reading tower.” For the younger children the number of books is 10, and for the older children reading chapter books, the number of books is three to get a prize from the treasure chest.
“We do not give out awards for the most books read,” Rushing said. “However, at the end of the summer reading program, children who have read a certain number of books have their name entered in a box from which we draw names for prizes. “
Prizes in the past have included books, games, Wal-Mart gift cards, and bicycles. The local Friends of the Library group helps to purchase prizes for the children, but they also accept and appreciate donations from individuals, businesses, and other organizations.
“Summer reading is important to our library in that it keeps children coming in year round,” Rushing said. “It is important to start good reading habits at an early age and we try to encourage that, but ultimately it is up to the parents and caregivers to bring the children in.”
Rushing said she has fond memories of coming to the library as a child and reading during the summer.
“Both of my children participated in the summer reading program each year and attended the programs,” Rushing said. “They loved coming to the library to check out books and see Mrs. Bootsie (Weed, the former librarian at Winona-Montgomery County Library).”
For more information about the summer reading program, contact your local library.
Winona-Montgomery County Summer Reading Program
- Pets and Pet Care by Doll Stanley at 2 p.m. June 1
- MOVIE DAY at 2 p.m. June 5
- Magician Todd Smith at 3 p.m. June 15
- MOVIE DAY at 2 p.m. June 19
- Forest Friends Workshop (for those who pre-registered in May) at 2 p.m. June 22
- Winona Junior Auxiliary stories, songs and crafts at 2 p.m. June 29
- Animal Architects: Building for Survival in the Wild at 10 a.m. July 6
- MOVIE DAY at 2 p.m. July 10
Kilmichael Library Summer Reading Program Events
- MOVIE DAY at 2 p.m. June 8
- Magician Todd Smith at 10 a.m. June 15
- Winona Junior Auxiliary stories, songs and crafts on June 22
- Kristen Holifield’s art class featuring “I AM” Boards on June 23
- Noah’s Ark Animal Workshop (pre registration and supply fee required) on June 27
- Animal Tales at 1:30 p.m. July 6
- Kristen Holifield’s basic crochet class at 2 p.m. July 7