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C.H. Booth Library will host its annual reading programs this summer to encourage reading among children, teenagers, and adults.
The programs will include raffle drawings for prizes, meant to incentivize reading. The children’s program will begin on June 19; the young adult and adult programs will begin on June 17.
“I think that summer reading should be reading for fun and pleasure,” Children’s Librarian Alana Bennison said. “It’s to make reading a part of your everyday routine.”
Ms Bennison said she hopes the reading program will help avoid what is known by educators as the “summer slide,” a loss of skills over the summer if students do not continue to practice what they have learned in school.
The theme for the children’s and young adult programs this year is “Build a Better World.” The theme is decided by the national Collaborative Summer Library Program.
The children’s summer reading program typically draws about 400 registrants, from the age of 4 through those entering grade six, according to Ms Bennison.
Participants can register online and track the books they have read at chbooth.readsquared.com.
Children will discuss their reading with young adult volunteers in the children’s section of the library to receive raffle tickets to win prizes. Raffle tickets will be awarded for every five books — or 250 pages, for longer chapter books — that the participant reads.
Prizes this year include a Danbury Westerners baseball ticket and a free slice of takeout pizza from My Place Pizza and Restaurant, according to Mrs Bennison.
After reading 20 books, participants will receive a coupon for $2 off of any book from the library’s Little Bookstore, and will have their picture taken to be put up on a “Wall of Fame.”
Ms Bennison said July is the busiest month of the year at the library.
“We tend to focus our budget in the summer since we know kids are available,” Mrs Bennison said.
Summer programming associated with the children’s reading program will begin June 22, at 3:30 pm, with a performance of The Ribbles Build a Residence, by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company.
Additional events at the library over the summer for children include programs on simple machines, raptor rehabilitation, and kindergarten readiness classes, according to Ms Bennison.
Young Adult Readers
Participants in the young adult program will be awarded with one raffle ticket for every 50 pages read, once the student fills out a slip of paper with information about the book and an explanation of whether they would recommend it to others.
The young adult program typically draws 100 participants entering grades six through twelve, according to Kim Weber, the young adult librarian.
Students participating in the young adult program will have the chance to win gift certificates to Ferris Acres Creamery, Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop, Newtown General Store, and Bagel Delight, among other local businesses, during weekly drawings.
In keeping with this year’s theme, the library’s Young Adult Council, a group of about 20 students in grades six and up, will fundraise throughout the summer for Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that aids agricultural development around the world by providing families in need with livestock and training.
“They thought it would be a great idea to also have a component that raises money for a worthwhile cause,” Ms Weber.
Participants in the young adult reading program will have the option of entering their raffle tickets in a donation box, instead of the prize boxes. Sponsors will donate a certain amount of money to Heifer International for each donated raffle ticket.
Young adult programming for the summer includes weekly 3-D printing classes, a chocolate for teens workshop, and a creative summer writing camp, according to Ms Weber.
Summer Reading For Adults
Adults are not forgotten as the library summer reading program gets underway. An adult summer reading program requires that participants fill out a review on the book they have read and drop that review into the prize box of their choice. Raffle prizes will be given out this year, according to Lucy Handley, who handles adult programming.
Ms Handley said she keeps the reviews for library patrons to look through when deciding on their next read.
The librarians are working on creating a Newtown-themed escape room — a game in which players must solve puzzles and riddles to get out of a locked room — for all ages, Mrs Weber said.
Additional information about more events, dates, times, and whether prior registration is required can be found on the library’s website, chboothlibrary.org.