Summer Reading Promoted at Memorial
By Michael McInnis Staff Reporter · July 01, 2011
Kindergarten student, Nathan Cameron, wore his "We (Heart) Mr. Anderson" T-shirt to the presentation. The day was designated as "Mr. Anderson Day", in honor of the retiring Memorial Elementary School principal.
There are good slides and not-so-good. Playground slides are fun and the slides at popular water parks are ideal for summertime. One slide, however, that's not so good is the student reading skills "summer slide".
According to Sue Ellen Szymanski, Supervisor of Youth Services at Milford Town Library, the so-called "summer slide" happens when children neglect to practice their reading over summer vacation, causing them to lose from 1/4 to 1/3 of their reading skills. In an effort to prevent the "summer slide", the Milford School system has mandated that all students must participate in a summer reading program.
"This year," Szymanski explained, "there's a component of free-choice reading built in (to the program)." While there is a list of required reading, students have an opportunity to add their own choices, as well. "Some kids just love to read about tarantulas," Szymanski noted, as an example, "or (to read) about the state of Minnesota, because they know someone who lives there."
Although each student, at all of Milford's schools, receives an informational packet on the summer reading program, Szymanski took the time to address students at Memorial Elementary School, to serve as a reminder. The presentation, which took place June 17, was both informational and motivational, as Szymanski shared enticing details of forthcoming library programs along with details of the summer reading program.
"Do you know," she asked the children, "that every single person in our entire world has their own stories to tell? It's true. And, every country in our world has famous stories and those are called folk tales." Szymanski promised that over the summer, there would be lots of folk tales incorporated into reading activities. "All of our activities (are) multi-cultural," she explained.
The Library's June 22 Kick-Off of the summer reading program, she explained, would feature musician "Mr. G." (Jesse Gonzales), whose program, entitled, One Musical World, was in keeping with a multi-cultural theme. In addition, the children were told, TD Bank, would send their "WOW van" to the activities, to provide fun, games and free ice cream following the concert.
Szymanski previewed several other summer programs planned for the library, including an appearance by storyteller and musician, Rona Leventhal. "She travels all around the world, collecting stories," Szymanski told the children. Her multi-cultural presentation is called "Travelin' Shoes". Leventhal's appearance is set for mid-July.
In August, the library plays host to magician Jason Kallio and his educational-magic show; "Say it With Magic" and on August 10, musicians Davis & Roger offer their "Under One Sky" program. "We have some of their CD's at the library too," Szymanski told the elementary students, "they're pretty famous."
Szymanski finished her presentation to the students by reading a portion of the children's book A Twist in the Tail. She also provided the children with complementary bookmarks, for use during their summer reading activities.