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Friends of the Library: Help your kids keep reading skills strong over summer

July 09, 2011|By Mary Ellen Goddard

An article this week in the Los Angeles Times reminded me that children's programs in our libraries help keep their skills sharp, especially during the summer when they are not in school. According to the article ("Keeping pupils' skills sharp," LAT Extra, July 7), a new study by the Rand Corporation has documented that children lose two to three months of reading and math skills while on break, and that the problem is particularly acute for lower-income children with limited access to travel, museums, libraries and other enriching experiences. Though people often think that this refers only to children in the lower grades, it in fact applies to some extent to all young students.

To help combat this problem, summer programs are sometimes held in schools and museums, often funded by grants from various foundations. Most public libraries have yearly summer programs for children, ranging in age from toddlers to teens. Costa Mesa's two full-service libraries have regularly had outstanding children's programs, funded by the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries.

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This year's Summer Reading Program, "One World, Many Stories," is being held during the month of July. For the next two weeks, the following programs – all free to the public – will be held:

At the Mesa Verde Library

On Tuesday, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Ina Buckner Burnette will combine theater and storytelling while telling her amazing animal tales. Her participatory stories will ignite the audience's imagination and tickle their funny bone.

The Wonderful World of Songs and Stories, with storyteller and troubadour Ken Frawley is coming to Mesa Verde Library on July 19, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. As story teller, folksinger and puppeteer, Frawley combines all of his talents to present an entertaining program with enchanting characters that plunge the audience into their imagination.

A six-week session of "Switch on the Night" Pajama Story times will take place from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday from June 29 to August 3. Children aged 3 to 8 will have the opportunity to participate in and listen to songs, stories, and rhyme.

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