Library children’s summer reading program returns

By Shanna Cummings

The Van Horn City-County Library is gearing up for the Tails and Tales children’s summer reading program on June 21 – 25. The deadline for signing up is June 14. The summer reading program focuses on students who will be in preschool through third grade for the 2021-2022 school year, while the summer reading challenge includes students in fourth and fifth grades.

Space for the week-long summer program this year is limited and tends to fill up quickly. Registration is required, and registration forms can be picked up from and returned to the library during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an hour lunch from noon to 1:00 p.m. Library staff can also email forms when requested.

The program runs from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m that week and offers kids from preschool to fifth-grade motivation to keep reading over the summer. Younger children will experience fun books read aloud by volunteers, complete crafts, play games, munch on snacks and fill in reading logs for prizes. As a new bonus incentive, one student in each grade level will also win a grand prize for the most books read.

Older elementary-age kids can also complete reading logs for incentives in the summer reading challenge, which will last through July.

This year, the library wants to help children become more familiar with the facility and the library experience. “I am wanting to try and attract more kids to do the reading part, to come visit our local library to kind of use our library to check out books and become familiar with the library,” librarian Letty Hernandez said. “And hopefully they’ll continue to visit and check out books.”

The library is encouraging the older elementary-age students to read chapter books and challenge their reading levels this year. The library offers a variety of age- and reading level-appropriate chapter books for kids to check out.

For safety, the library will close to the public at noon for the week of the summer reading program.

Last year, the library had to alter the program in response to Covid restrictions. Participants could still fill in reading logs and take home materials for a craft project, but in-person activities were canceled. “We didn’t have it [last year] because of everything with Covid, so this year we’re excited to get it going again,” Hernandez said.