Summer – and summer reading – is finally here | KCLS

Summertime. What a welcomed word.

For the King County Library System, it’s time for summer reading. And we’re pulling out all the stops.

The theme this year, Libraries Rock, includes a lineup of programs and activities to ensure that patrons of all ages come together for a summer of fun and exploration, and to help kids bridge the three-month learning gap commonly known as the “summer slide.”

KCLS’ Summer Reading Programs emphasize science, technology, engineering, art and math, and we offer hundreds of them.

Want to build something? Head to a Lego robotics program or a rocket-making class. Do you enjoy music? Learn to play the ukulele or violin, attend a Cuban strings and drums concert, or sing along at a “Carry-a-Toon” event. Explore the science of sound at a Hydraulic Sounds Science Workshop. Make rain sticks at the Family Noisemakers Art Workshop or design an instrument that emulates the clap of thunder at the Sound Storm Maker Workshop.

Budding scientists can learn the geology of minerals, fossils and geodes, the physics of rollercoasters, or the migratory habits of wild salmon. Patrons interested in cultural arts can learn to write Haiku or fold origami cranes.

Ready to Read programs for preschoolers and their parents are wonderful ways to read, talk, sing, write and play together – and to connect with other parents and caregivers – and KCLS Story Times remain popular for young children of all ages.

In 2017, nearly 44,000 children participated in the Summer Reading program, a 31 percent increase over the previous year. Kids read more than 21 million minutes last year.

Likewise, teens turned in 11,613 reading logs, a 34.5 percent increase. Programs ranging from self-publishing classes to an event held at a skate park kept teens reading all summer long.

KCLS has Summer Reading Programs for adults, too. Now in its third year, the Summer Reading in the Park program was created to draw adults outdoors to read. Staged at parks and other venues around the county, adults can lounge in lawn chairs and families can spread out on blankets to enjoy a good book on a warm summer day while a local DJ plays music in the background.

Let the summer reading fun begin.

Lisa Rosenblum is director of the King County Library System.

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