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Libraries Rock!

By Staff | Jun 27, 2018


Facilities whose time has come – and gone?

No, way, libraries rock – literally as “media centers” around the county keep kids reading throughout the summer with programs designed to reward those who pick up a book.

The Lee County Library System’s Libraries Rock! summer reading program is under way, offering special events, book displays and, of course, rewards for reading, including free books.

The Pine Island Public Library at 10701 Russell Road in Bokeelia has a number of programs available.

The varied programs are designed to reach all youths from “babytimers” to teens. Visiting musicians, jugglers and reptile handers and book-themed events are among the offerings.

And if you’re an adult? Well, we get to rock, too.

Summer Reading Bingo, designed to help adults discover the different services and genres offered throughout the library, is available to library patrons 18 and older.

Grownups get a bingo card that, when completed, gets us entered into a branch and systemwide drawing to win prizes.

We just hope those prizes include, well, more free books.

For students, there’s a benefit far beyond the fun.

According to Lee County Library System officials, reading programs such as the ones they are offering systemwide help prevent the “summer slide.”

“Children that don’t read through the summer actually go back to school and score lower on tests,” Youth Services Coordinator Amy Jane McWilliam said in an earlier interview with The Breeze.

Many do, indeed.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, this is a time when children are particularly vulnerable to falling behind, particularly those who are not part of higher-income families.

“Most students lose two months of mathematical skills every summer, and low-income children typically lose two to three months in reading,” according to a “Summer By The Numbers” chart published on the not-for-profit’s website.

When the new school year opens, nine in 10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons from the previous year, the association, which promotes summer learning opportunities, including summer school options, reports.

That’s a serious concern here in Lee County where 45 percent of third graders are reading below grade level, according to recently released Grade 3 Florida Standards Assessments English Language Arts test and few, if any, summer options are offered to low-performing kindergarten, first and second graders working their way up to the state’s first major testing benchmark.

Consider the Libraries Rock! program as a way to help fill the gap and prevent “the slide.”

To view a complete list of programs offered this summer through the Lee County Library System’s Libraries Rock! summer reading program, visit leelibrary.net/summer.

Call 239-533-4350 for more about the Pine Island Library.

– Eagle editorial