Area libraries offer ways to keep kids engaged this summer
SOUTH OAKLAND — Berkley Public Library Director Matt Church has heard all about the “summer slump” and the things students forget when they take the summer off from reading and learning.
But judging by the amount of options available this summer during the various library summer reading programs in the area, that shouldn’t be an issue.
“Especially for the school-age kids, we want to keep them engaged and learning throughout the summer,” Church said. “If we can get them reading every day or close to every day, they should stay up with where they need to be for school.”
All of the area library programs are following the same science-focused theme this summer, “Fizz, Boom, Read” for youth and “Spark a Reaction” for teens.
Berkley kicks off its program at 6 p.m. Monday with its annual ice cream social, while the libraries in Royal Oak and Southfield already have their programs running.
There are prizes for readers of all age levels, including adults, and in Berkley those include Kindles for one teen and one adult.
“It’s nice to have some incentives along the way,” Church said. “We want to have a friendly competition here and are encourage the whole family to take advantage of it.”
Family truly is the focus of the programs, which in Royal Oak includes a pair of outdoor concerts. The first is the Gratitude Steel Band, performing at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on June 19. And the second is Fiddlers ReStrung, performing at 7 p.m. on June 26.
Berkley invites its residents to a concert with Randy Kaplan on June 25, a science demonstration with Mad Science of Detroit on July 16 and an appearance by the Organization for Bat Conservation on Aug. 5.
Southfield’s programs include Dan Briere and His Little Creatures at 6:30 p.m. Monday, dinner and a movie on June 30, the Tie Dye Bash on July 14.
“No matter what age there are things to do here during the summer,” said Royal Oak Public Library Director Mary Karshner.
Residents can sign up for the program at any time during the summer, and more information can be found on the library’s respective websites (www.berkley.lib.mi.us,www.southfieldlibrary.org and www.ropl.org.)
Karshner said summer is the library’s busiest time and an even better time to start reading.
“This is purely books as recreation, it’s not books as homework,” she said. “Even if kids are reading graphic novels and comic books it is still reading and vocabulary and keeps their reading skills up.”
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