It’s not too late to join the Summer Reading fun at Camp Verde Community Library where there are cool prizes to win, books to read, movies to see and a trip or two yet to take.
You might think the Summer Reading Program (SRP in library-speak) is just about keeping kids occupied during the summer, but there’s a lot more to it than that. For kids and teens the underlying goal is to encourage reading and learning over the summer so they don’t lose gains made in school the previous year. For adults, the goal is to provide stimulating activities and social opportunities.
This year’s SRP focuses on STEAM/STEM in every age category – Tiny Kids, Kids, Teens, and Adults. With 181 people participating so far, we have a lot of families with children of various ages so we planned programs and events throughout the summer to appeal to families. There is a method behind all the fun and games and our Youth Services Librarian, Ms. Dianna, has planned a lot of learning into the mix (shh… don’t tell the kids). STEAM programming in Youth Services breaks down something like this:
- 35% Science programs – Our SRP kickoff event featured Out of Africa, a U.S. Forest ranger and Dewey, the bearded dragon. Items inside the registration kit included a chemistry quiz, a Bingo challenge, and an experiment to perform. We installed a Celestron microscope on a computer in the Kid’s Library for easy viewing of specimens on the PC screen. Ms. Dianna, has Science projects available at her desk for the asking. We partnered with Parks & Recreation to schedule trips to Butterfly Wonderland and the Camp Verde Sewer & Sanitation plant.
- 21% Technology programs – Earlier this Spring, we added several tech items to our interactive supplies. Snaptricity allows kids to learn about electrical circuits. Sphero introduces kids to an app-controlled robot ball and the Arduino board helps kids discover basic principles of programming. Makey Makey and Rasberry Pi encourage kids to think outside the box. All of the activities with our tech toys require reading at some level so we purchased a series of books about various tech topics from the 21st Century Innovation Library. The SRP Grand Finale includes guided stargazing through telescopes provided by Verde Valley Stargazers.
- 14% Engineering programs – Our Learning Resources Gears, Lights and Action kit teach kids about building cause and effect. ASU professor, Erin Harper, brought equipment to demonstrate how muscles and bones interact to make our bodies work. Families who visit the Camp Verde Sewer and Sanitation plant have the opportunity to understand a little more about the carefully designed process behind treating sewage and water sanitation.
- 18% Arts programs – A Henna tattoo artist explained the science behind Henna as she drew elaborate designs on a volunteers arm. Ms. Jenny Smith leads kids in imaginative dance movements as she teaches them to recognize rhythm monthly in the Kid’s Library. Stick & Tones used musical instruments and songs to remind us about the importance of STEAM subjects. Alan D. Foster, talked about his career as a Sci-Fi author and screenwriter. Magician, Richard Steele, wowed his audience with magic tricks while he talked about the importance of water conservation.
- 12% Math programs – Kids of all ages are calculating the number of minutes they read each day and/or the number of books they read as they compete for some amazing prizes. Our TAB Teens have been looking at blueprints, measuring space and deciding what will fit in the new Teen Library. They are also raising and tracking money as they decide how to spend what they have earned for the new library.
The adult SRP offered many new opportunities this year. Readers, viewers, listeners have been entering short reviews into the SRP tracking system to earn points toward final prizes. The challenge has been to try something new. Listen to an MP3 Playaway audiobook while taking a walk in the cool of the early morning. Go on a blind date with a book – pick a random wrapped book and see what you get! Learn something new about working with digital photos for email or Facebook. Attend a Geek Talk at the library or a free movie at Town Hall. Whatever you do to participate, make sure you know how to get credit so library staff members do not win all the adult SRP prizes!
Even if you don’t get a chance to participate in any other SRP activity, make sure you join us for the SRP Grand Finale – an old-fashioned family cookout and evening of stargazing under our glorious night skies. Bring a dozen homemade cookies to share, a camp chair or picnic blanket to relax on and meet us at the Ramada on Hollamon Street at 6:00 pm for supper. Stay for a view of the stars as we hear from members of the Verde Valley Stargazers. Like I said, it’s not too late to join the Summer Reading fun at Camp Verde Community Library!