Lisa Rosenblum, executive director of the King County Library System, joins families for Story Time. COURTESY PHOTO, KCLS

Lisa Rosenblum, executive director of the King County Library System, joins families for Story Time. COURTESY PHOTO, KCLS

KCLS provides summertime opportunities to read, learn and grow

June is the end of the school year, but it’s the beginning of King County Library System’s annual Summer Reading Program, and we’re offering a variety of fun, educational activities to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the summer.

Summer Reading programs are designed to bridge the learning gap between the end of the academic year and the start of school in September, helping children keep up on core subjects like reading and math in order to avoid the “summer slide.”

This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories” and kids will enjoy science, technology, engineering, math and art (STEAM) programs such as “Mars Rover Races” and “The Wonders of Space Show” along with presentations by KidsQuest Museum (“Extraterrestrial Engineering”) and the Museum of Flight (“The Portable Universe”).

It’s not just children who get into the spirit of summer reading. In 2018, more than 78,000 children, teens – and adults – participated in the program, logging minutes read at home, at the library, or at one of our Summer Reading in the Park events. And registrations continued to grow, increasing 12 percent for children and 21 percent for teens, which included 65 students at the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle. In all, Summer Reading participants read an impressive 32.2 million minutes.

An important component of our Summer Reading Program is Summer Meals. Volunteers from partner agencies throughout King County serve free, nutritious lunches and snacks for children and teens who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, while KCLS’ Children and Teen librarians offer reading and educational activities at libraries and community sites where the meals are served. And the KCLS Foundation generously provides books for giveaways.

Another partnership that benefits patrons in the summer is our Student Account program. In collaboration with 18 public school districts and local community and technical colleges, KCLS offers K-12 and college students a special library account that can be used to access eBooks, downloadable materials, databases and other online resources year-round. There is no physical card issued with the accounts; the Student Account number incorporates the student’s school ID number so it’s easy to remember when school is out.

KCLS supports hands-on learning during the summer, as well. Activities at the ideaX Makerspace at Bellevue Library, Girls Who Code classes, Math Poems workshops, and Instrument Petting Zoos are just a few of the many popular STEAM programs KCLS offers. And, of course, all are free!

KCLS’ Summer Reading Program kickdc off June 1. Check your local library or kcls.org for a schedule of events near you.

Lisa Rosenblum is the executive director of the King County Library System.

More in Opinion

Politics, not science behind water quality rollback

I don’t know how you can be against clean water, but some… Continue reading

Legislature: History, investigations and new laws

The 2019 session of the Legislature included controversy, compromise, surprise, new law and more.

The Sustainable Summer Picnic: 3 easy steps for an eco-conscious outing

With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to dig out the picnic blankets… Continue reading

Max fix critical to Washington

Boeing needs to get the 737 back into service – safely and soon

KCLS provides summertime opportunities to read, learn and grow

June is the end of the school year, but it’s the beginning… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee. FILE PHOTO
Governor’s watch: timing is everything

Inslee, possible candidates eye 2020 race

State, feds splash and clash over Washington’s water quality

President Donald Trump is ready to give Washington the clean water rules… Continue reading

Start your waste reduction journey

Most Americans throw away about 4.5 gallons of stuff every single day.… Continue reading

Washington State Capitol. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Interim House speaker takes on challenges of a tough seat

The Frank Chopp era is over. Washington’s longest-serving speaker of the state… Continue reading

New Montana law aims to keep people in their homes | Brunell

Montana’s legislature took the unusual step of exempting older, less-valued mobile homes… Continue reading

Democrats doing a victory lap, but other matters remain unfinished

Democratic lawmakers greeted the end of the 2019 legislative session with warm… Continue reading

KCLS fosters connections with local governments and library advocates

King County Library System fosters connections with local governments and library advocates… Continue reading