Young readers throughout the valley explored the world of reading this summer by visiting their local libraries and opening up some books.
Nancy Stowell, children’s librarian at Frank J. Basloe Library in Herkimer, said 43 readers participated in their program this year with a total of 1,050 books read.
“It went really well. It was better than in the past few years,” she said.
Kids were able to keep track of their progress through a chart where they were given a sticker for each book that they read and were also given a bead for a bracelet. After reading five books, they would get a special bead.
“That really made a difference,” said Stowell. “The child could actually see they had read a lot of books and it encouraged them.”
The top five readers in the Basloe program gathered at the library Monday morning
to have their efforts recognized. The top readers were Joaquin Nietes with 150 books; Jesse Richard with 102 books; Isabel Clements with 95 books; Kristine Nietes with 85 books and Rylee Crandall with 45 books. Among some of the kids’ favorites were “Captain Underpants” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
Each of the top readers was awarded a $5 Wal-Mart gift card, a free Stewart’s ice cream cone and his or her choice of one of several books set aside by the library.
“It opens up a whole new world, a different world, for her,” said Debbie Clements, of Herkimer, whose daughter Isabel was one of the top readers.
According to the state Education Department’s Library Development website, the goals of the summer reading program include “advancing literacy and academic performance by engaging children and teens in reading and reading-related activities during the summer months and to foster a love of reading through public library programs and services.”
“Public libraries, through their summer reading programs, put books in the hands of children,” said Bernard A. Margolis, assistant commissioner for Libraries and New York’s State Librarian on the website. “This is the best antidote for the ‘summer slide’ in children’s reading achievement. Access to books and library programs over the summer results in more reading which, in turn, results in improved reading skills.”
Stowell also said 61 kids participated in Library Quest, which is a board game where kids can move their pin along a board after rolling a die with a chance to win prices. Pre-school story time at Basloe begins on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 10:30 a.m. The Wednesday session will begin Sept. 19.