Healthy minds and healthy bodies make children happy learners. This year, “Summer at the Library” focuses on health and fitness. Programs will offer fun for all ages – birth through teens – and all interests.
Many popular performers will be back, with shows tailored to the fitness theme. The list includes: magician Jeff Evans, “Zaniac” Alex Zerbe, juggler Rhys Thomas, storyteller Chris Fascione, ventriloquist Vikki Gasko Green and steel drum musician Ian Dobson. Always a hit, “Reptile Man” Scott Peterson returns with his traveling zoo of cold-blooded creatures. “W.E. C.A.R.E Sports” has a new line-up of fun fitness programs.
Through physical activities – games, sports and creative movement – summer readers will try new things, work in teams and experience activities from other cultures.
Youth Services Coordinator Kendra Jones has overseen library summer reading programs in Vancouver and Tacoma, Washington. She is a true believer:
“We absolutely know, from years of research, that summer reading programs improve reading skills,” Jones said, adding, “strong reading skills help children become more confident learners.”
“When children read during the summer,” Jones said, “they are more likely to remember what they learned the previous school year. Library summer programs are so much fun, kids learn naturally. It’s not unusual for summer readers to actually fall in love with reading. That,” Jones added, “is the ultimate life-changer!”
The health and fitness emphasis ties in nicely with the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. It also sets the scene for a sports-related “Timberland Reads Together” (TRT) this October. Readers throughout the TRL district will read and discuss “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.”