August 18, 2012
As area youngsters return to local campuses for another school year, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library has some good news about how a lot of those children spent their vacation months.
Participation in the annual summer reading program matched — and perhaps exceeded — figures for last summer, assistant library director Mary Stein told the Press Club of Baton Rouge. Although final figures for participation are still being compiled, preliminary figures show that enrollment in the program was strong this summer. That’s a welcome development in a world in which reading is often lamented as being on the decline.
We credit the strength of the offerings connected with the summer reading program, which included lots of special events in which local children could participate. The wealth of local branches affording easy access to the programs is another plus. As Stein noted during her remarks to the Press Club, summer reading events were offered in every branch of the system, not just the Main Library. For several years now, the summer reading program has also included an avenue for adults to participate, too. That’s a good way for entire families to get involved in the fun of reading.
We’re confident that the children who participated in the summer reading program will benefit from having books in their lives over the vacation months. That experience should make them better students during the coming school year.
The conclusion of summer vacation for local youngsters doesn’t mean that regular trips to the local library branch have to stop. We hope that children who participated in the summer reading program will continue their connection with the library throughout the year. Parents and guardians can help by taking children to the library on a regular basis, even when the school year brings other obligations, such as weekend sports events and other extracurricular activities.
Louisiana has a long way to go in advancing literacy. The local library is an important part of that mission, and we urge families to use it fully.