According to a common childhood rhyme (and Alice Cooper), summer brings “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.”That’s partially right. for most kids, freedom from classroom captivity is the highlight of summer, but reading isn’t something to be cast aside.
“Studies have shown that because kids are out of school, they tend to lose some of the things they learned during the school year,” said Adrienne Butler, 42, youth services consultant for the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.“Summer can be a great time for them to read for pleasure: reading what they want to read, not what they have to. … that keeps them learning new things all summer,” she said.‘One World’The library department is launching a statewide summer reading program, “One World, many Stories,” which emphasizes reading books from or set in other cultures. the program officially begins June 5 and ends July 24, although some libraries may have slightly different beginning and ending dates.“Some books really highlight the life of kids in other regions,” Butler said. “You’ve got a lot of books about Spanish or Hispanic children. With the Japanese, you’ve got the whole manga thing. We’re getting a lot of Australian authors in America. It’s refreshing to see how authors write about kids in other countries.”The reading program includes “games, family fun activities, balloon art, puppet shows and magic shows for the K-5 group and gaming parties for the tweens and teens,” according to a news release.Participants will have the opportunity to earn prizes for meeting reading goals. Prizes include canvas bags, temporary tattoos, water bottles, T-shirts, drawstring backpacks and more.As part of the effort, The Oklahoman will publish an activity sheet in each Sunday’s Life section from June 5 to July 24. Children ages 5 to 12 can search through the newspaper for answers to questions on the activity sheets. Completed forms may be mailed or emailed to the newspaper or hand-delivered to local libraries.Weekly winners of the newspaper contest will receive a set of books, and a grand prize winner, selected at the end of the contest, will get a digital camera or video recorder. the big winner’s local library also will get $450 in books. everyone who submits answers through all eight weeks of the contest will get a surprise reward.the key, Butler said, is to help children discover that reading is fun — no matter if it’s fiction or nonfiction, magazines or books.“We’re just happy they’re reading,” she said. News Photo Galleriesview all