The Ardmore Public Library’s summer reading program is nearing its final chapter of the summer. And its last chapter is certain to be an exciting one.
The library’s summer reading program began on June 6 and has one more week of events left. The reading program has welcomed in several performers and events for the program from animals from the Oklahoma City Zoo to jugglers and hula hoopers.
The program has two remaining performances on the schedule, with “Oklahoma Kid” trick roping on July 1 and magician Steve Crawford visiting on July 7. Both performances can be seen at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. on their respective days at the library.
The Star readership reading program, which is available for newborns to 18 year olds, is in its third year at the library and any child who reads five books get a free ticket to an end of the summer pool party celebration, which will be at the Ardmore Community Water Park on August 4. Several prizes from tablets and mp3 players to books, backpacks filled with school supplies and bicycles will be given away at the pool party for participating in the program.
Literacy coordinator Elizabeth Gaylor said the extra incentive of potentially getting a prize at the end of the program has made the children more excited about reading.
“The pool party has very much been the driving initiative this year,” Gaylor said. “They want the ticket to the pool party and I know some kids have told me ‘I want the bike’ or ‘I want the tablet’ and so they’ve had their eyes on specific prizes.”
Gaylor said the program has more than 100 kids signed up and the program has seen growth over the month. Children, as part of the program, receive a free book for every five books they read and it keeps kids engaged in reading from a young age.
“I’ve had one mom come in a couple times and say now ‘her kid has a library of 25 books,’” Gaylor said.
Gaylor said the goal of the reading program is to ensure that children maintain their reading level during the summer months, when reading can be a rare activity for some children. The program hopes to provide a reading outlet for children in the summer so they’re at the proper reading level when school begins again in August.
“Over the summer kids don’t read,” she said. “So then you have the summer slide and they lose reading levels over the summer. But if they do this, they at least maintain their reading level, which is good because going into school again the teachers don’t have to backtrack and bring them back up to level.”
The library also has an adult reading program, which asks adults to read at least 10 minutes, 10 times to receive a free book. Reading another 10 sessions awards a water bottle and reading a third 10 sessions (30 days total) places the readers name in a raffle for four kindle fire tablets. Gaylor said the adults can read anything from magazines to Internet articles, as long as they are reading. She said setting achievable goals for both children and adults makes reading more approachable and the goal more reachable.
“I think by setting realistic goals for both the Star readers and the adult reading program it makes it a little more attainable,” she said.