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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Off the Shelf: Summer Reading Program includes innovation

Kelly Knudsen, director, Warrenton Community Library
By Kelly Knudsen, Thursday, May 21, 2020

COVID-19 will not stop summer reading fun!

The State Library of Oregon has been hosting a weekly series of virtual meet-ups for librarians across the state and the meetings have proven to be a valuable tool for deciding what services the library can provide.

Input and ideas from the virtual meet-ups, along with collaboration with Seaside and Astoria public library staff, have helped shape a new, innovative Summer Reading Program for Clatsop County families.

Starting June 1, Warrenton Community Library will be giving away new books and “Take & Make” bags with project ideas and supplies for families, as part of the new Summer Reading Program. Take a bag, and you are signed up!

We also are working with Clatsop Community Action and dispersing “Take & Make” bags and books at the food bank in Warrenton starting in June. Watch for more info on our Facebook page and website.

If you would like to donate craft supplies or books for our Summer Reading Program, please call the library.

Another way we plan to stay safe and have fun this summer is with a StoryWalk® —an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults! — to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time.

Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll down the trail, you’re directed to the next page in the story. We’ll create one StoryWalk® a month this summer at three different locations in Warrenton. Keep an eye out for info on our website and signs around the community.

I want parents and caregivers to know, you are not alone.

Your community library is here to help support you however we can, just ask! Now is the time to make strong family relationships a priority. For families concerned that their children are missing out on academic content, remember that, at a time like this, less is more.

I encourage you to broaden your definition of learning and focus on playtime, downtime, and family time. Rather than trying to recreate school content, think about how to help your kids continue to develop skills such as reading, problem-solving, and communication. Take care of each other and read on.

“One of the greatest gifts adults can give — to their offspring and to their society — is to read to children.” — Carl Sagan

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