Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Anne of Green Gables, The Color Purple, Half of a Yellow Sun, A Clockwork Orange… more than just book titles, it’s words on pages that color our world. Reading enriches our lives and provides context for exploring the world around us, making everyday life much more colorful.
This summer, the Ohio County Public Library invites the entire community, young and old, to participate in the 2021 Summer Reading Program, “Reading Colors Your World.” Both juvenile and adult readers are encouraged to color their world through reading this summer. Participation is easy. Books, audiobooks, ebooks, newspapers, magazines, and online articles all count towards total minutes read. Participants of any age level may stop by the library at any time beginning June 7 to fill out a paper registration form or may register online. Readers can log their minutes read between June 7 and July 17 for a chance to win weekly prizes.
Starting June 7, adults may register in person at the Library’s Circulation Desk and pick up reading logs at that time. Completed reading logs need to be turned into the library to be entered to win the weekly prizes. Alternatively, participants may register online at ohiocountylibrary.readsquared.com and log minutes read within the READsquared platform to be automatically entered in prize drawings.
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Parents may register children in the library at the circulation desk. Three levels are available this year: Pre-K (birth to K); Elementary (1st-3rd grades); and Upper Elementary (4th-6th grades). Each registered child will receive a summer reading bag with a packet of information and a reading log where kids can keep track of every 15 minutes of reading.
Juvenile participants are also encouraged to register on the library’s READsquared page or phone app. In addition to logging minutes read for badges and the chance to win prizes, READsquared will also give young readers access to video performances by Page Turner Adventures which feature entertaining and educational videos.
Other online children’s activities will include virtual programming by the library’s children’s specialist with a Monday Toddler Time at 10:30 a.m., a Tuesday Story Time at 10 a.m., and a Story and Activity on Wednesday at noon. Videos will be posted on the OCPL Kids YouTube Channel, OCPL Kids Facebook page, and the Story Online page on the OCPL website.
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Outdoors in-person programming for kids will include Thursday Fun Day programs held in the library’s side parking lot at the corner of 16th and Eoff Streets (across from Wheeling Clinic). Families may stop in and participate in the weekly program while social distancing and wearing masks.
Outdoor in-person Story Times with puppets and songs will also be held each Friday at 2 p.m. at the Stifel playground at Wheeling Park between June 11 and July 16, weather permitting.
Summer reading is critical for students to retain knowledge and skills learned in the previous school year. Students who don’t read are at risk of falling behind their classmates. Summer reading not only helps a child’s ability to retain information learned the previous year, but also increases growth in knowledge and critical thinking skills for the coming year.
But Summer reading isn’t just for kids. Reading is a habit for life. Children cannot be convinced that reading is truly valuable if the adults they look up to will not read themselves. Seeing adults with books in their hands sends the message that reading is something that can be done for pleasure and entertainment, not just something that is done to complete a homework assignment. Moreover, did you know that reading helps improve cognition? Research shows that regular reading improves brain connectivity, increases adult vocabulary and comprehension, and prevents cognitive decline as you age. Not only that, it’s good for your health. Research shows reading also helps reduce stress and lower blood pressure. So pick up a book, or your tablet, or load an audiobook this summer and enrich your life.
Register at the Ohio County Public Library and let reading Color Your World! For more information, call the Library at 304-232-0244, visit www.ohiocountylibrary.org, or stop by the library to pick up summer reading brochures.
The Ohio County Public Library is currently open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Both the 16th Street door and the main entrance are open during operating hours and appointments are no longer needed to visit the library.