There are many entertainment options for young people these days, but it’s good to see the Lawrence Public Library still promoting one of the old standbys: the summer reading program.
The library has kicked off its “One World, Many Stories” program for youngsters from birth through sixth grade. The program is for both readers and listeners. Older children can read books on their own, but the program also recognizes the importance of reading to infants and toddlers.
Participants who read or listen to 12 books and turn in a log of their activity will receive a free paperback book and coupons from local businesses. To help encourage the young readers, the library has scheduled several special summer events, including two opportunities for children to enjoy story time on the west lawn of the library, then head across the street for a free swim at the Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center.
In this day and age, at least a few children participating in the library program probably have access to portable devices on which they can download the latest eBooks. We hope, however, that most of them will choose the old-fashioned route, turning the pages of a favorite book either for themselves or with their favorite reading partner.
Most people connect summer with outdoor activities, but when the Kansas heat index is creeping toward the century mark, there’s a lot to be said for sitting in front of the fan or the air conditioner with a good book. It’s a great way to build the reading habit for both children and adults.