Rochelle News-Leader | Library’s summer reading program in full swing after years of pandemic

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ROCHELLE — The Flagg-Rochelle Public Library’s summer reading program is in full swing after offerings have been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, director Sarah Flanagan said.

The program theme this year is “Reading Outside the Box” and programs are offered for all ages. A launch event was held on June 4 with an ice cream party, lawn games and activities.

The “Books with Friends” program will take place for ages 7 to 12 every Monday in June and July from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., where children can bring their favorite book and join friends for reading And the activities.

The “Story Hour” program is aimed at children up to the age of six with an accompanying adult every Wednesday in June and July from 10.15 to 11.15 a.m. Each week will feature a different book and activity.

The “Secret Garden Tea Party” program is Saturday, June 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and attendees can enjoy tea and treats and create their own secret fairy garden. It’s for all ages. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an accompanying adult.

“Storytime with Pam Tobler” is July 16 at 10:15 a.m. for all ages. Local author Pam Tobler will read her latest picture book “Lily the Ladybug: Day at the Park”.

“The UnBook Club” is Thursday, June 23 and Thursday, July 21 from 4-5 p.m. for ages 13-19. The club goes beyond books and extends to audiobooks, podcasts, TED talks and more.

The “Morning Book Club” meets the last Wednesday of the month at 10:15 a.m. Drop by the library to borrow your book.

“We’re thrilled,” Flanagan said. “This year we were really able to fully open up and give kids a cool summer reading experience. After COVID-19, the patronage model and the way people do things has changed. They are much more interested in going out and experiencing things. Living in Rochelle, we are in a small community, so we know a lot of people who come to the library. And I think that’s important because we’ve been a bit locked in the last two years.”

Ashley Capes, the library’s outreach clerk, said a “remarkable increase” in enrollment in the program has been seen this summer. All ages are targeted, especially teenagers. She hopes that even those who don’t consider reading their favorite activity will still go out and have fun.

“It’s not just about sitting down and reading a book and talking about it,” Capes said. “It’s getting involved and having an activity that relates to a book. You don’t necessarily have to sit down and read for a certain number of minutes or pages. Just come have fun and explore the library and what we have to offer. Experience a book.”

Capes said the library had been planning its summer program since March and called it “a lot of work”. But, she said it’s worth it when she sees regulars entering the building with new faces. Creating new programs has also been nice, she said.

Flanagan said that during the summer, some children don’t read enough and are subject to the “summer learning glitch,” which can affect them when they return to school in the fall.

“What’s happening is they’re backing off,” Flanagan said. “Where they were at the end of the school year, they spend the first two months of the new school year trying to get their reading level back to where they were at the end of the year if they don’t nothing. If they’re reading and they’re exposed to reading, even if it’s a parent reading to them or listening to a story here, that helps. If they are interested in something they like and read, they are more likely to be at the same level, or even higher, at the start of the school year. And that’s important.

The library has endeavored to act as a resource for students who have had a more difficult learning experience at school during the pandemic. More material is available there than in school libraries that can help with things like reports. The library is also used by the city tutors.

“We act like this third space where they can come in and get a little extra help,” Flanagan said. “They can order other documents and consult books here. Plus, it gets them into the building. We can complete other materials for school work or they can embark on something they enjoy reading here. »

The library manager said she and her staff want to encourage the community to come visit this summer.

“We just want people to come and have a good time,” Flanagan said. “It’s the most important thing, that people are here, that they visit and that they read.”

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