Summer Reading: Let the Adventure Begin | Lubbock Area United Way

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Summer Reading: Let the Adventure Begin

June 7, 2018 | Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

By Ray Westbrook

School’s out, and there’s no reckoning awaiting at the end of six weeks.

Now, reading can be done for pleasure and adventure alone, and authors had better write interesting material because it’s readers’ choice.

Lubbock Area United Way and Lubbock Libraries are focusing attention on children, ostensibly to keep them interested and learning during the summer. But kids often have a better idea — read what’s captivating.

Blakley Lang, who will be going into fourth grade when school reconvenes, reads for delight: “You can use your imagination,” she said while at Mahon Library to read a book.

And Kelsey Lang, also going to fourth grade, added, “And you get to explore.”

The United Way community impact director, Ashley Ammons, said there is a purpose to the program that the organization has planned with partners such as the Lubbock Public Library. That plan is to encourage reading:

“Part of our mission here in our strategic plan is to encourage reading to and with your children.”

She said, “It could be any reading. What we’re focusing on is ‘the summer slide.’ When kids get out of school and they’re not focusing on schoolwork, they lose about six weeks of education from the year before.”

But she insists it’s not a requirement, and instead is an encouragement that the adults have in mind by promoting summer reading.

Erica Handley, children’s librarian at Mahon, said the library has a summer program for children going into fifth or lower grades.

“It’s called ‘Libraries Rock!’”

There are programs available at Godeke, Groves, Mahon and Patterson that will continue until Aug. 8.

Handley said, “Our summer reading programs — we have one for children and one for teens — are really important to help them through the summer so they don’t get into the summer slide.

“I know the kids enjoy it and the teens do. It’s just a good way to promote reading through the summer, especially for the reluctant readers.”

Opportunities for learning also will be going on at the Science Spectrum, which has a summer camp June 12-14 called “Dr. Suess Science,” and at Barnes and Noble where children are encouraged to read books in order to get a free book.

The book store’s program is divided into these categories: grades one and two; grades three and four; and grades five and six.

United Way will also cooperate with a program titled “Wild Kratts Marathon by PBS,” at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Children reading at the libraries, from grades five and lower, will read and submit a tracking log by Aug. 1 to receive a prize bag. Each tracking log submitted will also be entered into a prize drawing on Aug. 2.

Students in grades six through 12 will be asked to compete for game cards. Each game card has a specific due-date on it, and once complete and turned in, the student will receive tickets to extravaganzas held throughout the summer. The first is scheduled June 12.

Information is available at the libraries: Godeke, 775-3362; Groves, 767-3373; Mahon, 775-2835 or 775-2838; Patterson, 767-3300. Also, at United Way’s website:

Whatever else summer vacation may be, for kids it can be a time of unforgettable adventure with a book and a chair.