Summer Reading Program Helps Curb ‘Summer Recession’

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Gunnison County Library Youth and Family Services Coordinator, Keelin MacCarthy

During the summer, it can be difficult to pick up a book and read quietly. For children, teens and adults, the demands of our time make us feel exhausted at the end of the day. But Gunnison and Crested Butte Libraries are trying to change that, encouraging people of all ages to pick up a book.

The Summer Reading Program, themed Oceans of Possibilities, is designed to reward people who have achieved their summer reading goals. The Gunnison Country Times The weekly Kid Scoop activity page is designed all summer long to go along with the program.

The series kicked off on May 28 and will run until August 31. Anyone can grab a scratch card and win prizes for five books read, like a book you can keep or a gift card to Mocha’s Coffeehouse or Jermaine’s. In addition to the reading program, several events for young people and adults are organized throughout the summer.

Keelin MacCarthy, youth and family services coordinator for Gunnison County Libraries, said the program is a great way to help kids avoid what she calls the “summer crunch,” which is known to cause a decline in students’ academic performance at the beginning of a school year. due to the lack of learning during the summer.

MacCarthy said a big reason for this is burnout from the previous school year and other summer activities kids are expected to do.

“Between classes, they’re a bit exhausted,” she said. “And they have camp, sports and other demands on their time. Thus, they could potentially stop reading or become less involved in their studies. They are exhausted because they have so much to do.

While it can be difficult to get kids to buy a book over the summer, MacCarthy hopes the incentive system will help encourage kids to reach that 15-pound goal. Rewarding kids for completing books will not only fuel their love for reading, but also keep their minds active while they’re away from school. While one of the goals of this program is to keep children’s minds engaged throughout the summer, the reading program does not exclude teens and adults.

“When you’re an adult, you don’t have a lot of opportunities just to be rewarded for reading or to get prizes,” said Taylor Worsham, the library’s marketing and adult programs coordinator.

As people age, the time to sit down and read can seem next to impossible. Worsham hopes the incentives will motivate teens and adults to attend the summer reading program as well.

According to Pew Research, not only has recreational reading among teens declined since the 1980s, but 23% of adults say they haven’t read a book in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio. . With reading rates among teens and adults steadily declining, providing incentives to take time to read during their busy days is also the goal of the summer reading program.

“If you’re already reading, or just aiming to start reading again this summer, knowing that you can get a free ice cream or coffee after reading five books is kind of nice,” Worsham said.

If you’re interested in taking part in the Summer Reading Program but are hesitant to sign up, both MacCarthy and Worsham have tips on how to motivate you to read again. First, MacCarthy points out that there is no liability with this program. It’s something that’s meant for joy and fun, and you can set your own goals as you see fit.

“You can take a (reading) diary, if you finish it you do it, if not you don’t,” she said. “At the end of the day, we’re just providing the hardware. You can enjoy it or not according to your choice.

Worsham encourages people to find routines for their reading, whether it’s before bed or during a break. It’s also important to find a book that catches your eye. “I think the most important thing is just to find a book that really appeals to you,” she said.

MacCarthy emphasizes that everything matters. You don’t have to stick to traditional books to participate. No matter how you choose to participate in the reading program, Worsham said the library is always ready to help.

“The goal is to find something you like to read, hopefully we can help you in the library and get rewarded for reading,” she said.

(Sam Schaefer can be reached at 970.641.1414.)

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