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West Virginia Libraries Rock Out with Summer Reading Programs

The West Virginia Library Commission promotes “Libraries Rock” Summer Reading program for 2018
The Free Press WV

As summer gets underway, public libraries across West Virginia will offer programs to keep children and teens engaged in learning while school is out. This year’s events incorporate music with the Libraries Rock theme.

Each year, the West Virginia Library Commission partners with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a national organization providing high-quality, low-cost materials for libraries, to help libraries facilitate summer reading programs. Children, teens and adults are encouraged to participate throughout the summer in a variety of reading and education programs in the state’s 171 public libraries.

Besides being a fun way to spend the school break, summer reading programs help prevent the “summer slide” in a student’s education. Studies show that students on average score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer than they do on the same tests at the end of the school year. Teachers spend an average of 4-6 weeks re-teaching material that students have lost during the summer months.

Access to books and learning opportunities during summer is critical for all children and teens, but especially for those from low-income households. Research indicates students in lower economic homes fall behind in reading an average of two months during the summer as compared to their more affluent peers. Some studies estimate up to 67 percent of the achievement gap for lower income children is due to summer learning loss.

“A simple activity such as reading 30 minutes a day can help prevent the slide,” said Lisa Hechesky, WVLC Summer Reading Coordinator. “Library summer reading programs give children and their caregivers excellent free resources to stay engaged in learning, while being in a safe, supervised, and inviting setting. Libraries are also less like school, this helps foster positive experiences around books and learning for reluctant readers.”

For many families, the public library is the only community space available during the summer months where they can access free educational activities and programs. WVLC and the state’s public libraries are proud to provide programs to help students maintain their reading skills during summer vacation and develop positive attitudes about reading, books, and the library.

Summer reading programs aren’t just for children. Many libraries offer programming for adults related to the theme as well.

To learn more about the programs in your area, visit a West Virginia public library and find out why Libraries Rock this summer.

And to think that OUR own little Gilmer County Library ranks in the top ten of libraries in the whole state!

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