Last Modified: Thursday, May 24, 2012 7:21 PM
One of the best gifts parents can give to their children is the gift of reading.
Reading is one of the most important life skills, and children should be encouraged to develop the skill and love of reading in their earliest years.
Fortunately, access to reading materials is open to everyone, cost free, thanks to the Calcasieu Parish Public Library.
The public library begins registration for its summer reading programs for all ages on May 29 at 11 host library locations. The programs are set for June and July.
The annual Summer Reading Program Kick-off Celebration will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 8, at the Prien Lake Park Harbor’s Edge Pavilion.
The celebration will include a magic show, cookie decorating, dress-up booth, temporary tattoos, face painting, bookmark creations and balloon art. The Friends of the Library will sell SRP T-shirts for $7 and book bags for $2 at the event.
Children of all ages will explore the night this summer as the library presents “Dream Big — READ!” during the summer reading program.
There will be weekly programs featuring crafts and fun for all ages, in addition to challenges.
Those in grades 6-12 are encouraged to participate in their summer library program, “Own the Night,” in which they are invited to read for prizes and take part in special events.
All programs are free and will run concurrently. Each participant will be given a log book to record what they are reading. Those completing their reading by July 13 will receive a yard sign declaring “A Library Champion Lives Here!”
For information, call the library at 721-7116 or go online to www.calcasieulibrary.org.
How critical are reading skills. Most studies indicate that children learn to read from kindergarten through the second grade. But that changes in the third grade, when children begin to read to learn.
Other studies indicate that many children from low-income households lose knowledge and learning skills during the summer if they are not actively involved in reading or learning programs.
Give your children a great gift this summer — a gift that will serve them well for the rest of their lives — by registering them in the Calcasieu Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.