By Barbara Jacoby
My childhood memories of summer break tend to run together like melted popsicles. Hearing the warping ring as my dad assembled the heavily chlorinated, aluminum pool every May. Riding my blue coaster bike to friends’ backyards or to the corner store for the aforementioned popsicles. Cooling off indoors, often under my bed, and always with a book.
We’d usually spend a week at my grandparents’ farm and a week at the YMCA testing our swimming and lanyard-making skills, but most of the summer was spent at home. That didn’t mean my mind stayed home, though. It wandered the world and through time thanks to books, some of which I was grateful to own, but most were borrowed from the library. I attribute my career and my continued reading “travels” to books and the teachers and librarians who fostered my love of words.
Our outstanding school library media specialists foster that joy in students throughout the school year, but during the summer break, we’re thankful for our partners that bridge the gap. The Sequoyah Regional Library System and our media specialists developed the EZ Access Program this school year that allows Cherokee County School District students to use their student ID number as a public library card to check out books and materials. The existing process wasn’t difficult, but this program makes it even easier for a child to check out books.
The public library collections have a wide selection of everything from picture books to chapter books, to teen novels to nonfiction. As my avid reader Charlie, who’s 9, recently was delighted to learn, the public library has the “cool” books his school has, like the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Captain Underpants” series, and even DVDs to borrow! So far, we’ve watched “Flushed Away” and “Haunted Mansion,” much to his delight, with many more this summer, I’m sure.
The Sequoyah Regional Library System’s summer reading program makes the experience even more fun with reading challenges and special activities. Details about this program and more are posted on the library system’s website at sequoyahregionallibrary.org.
Another outstanding summer reading option is Get Georgia Reading’s partnership with Renaissance myON. Through this program, students can read digital books and age-appropriate news articles online at no cost at renaissance.com/getgeorgiareading from May 3 to July 31.
Unsure about what books your children should be reading based on their grade level? The Scholastic Book Wizard at bookwizard.scholastic.com is an awesome tool, but nothing can beat the knowledge of children’s librarians, who encourage reading during the summer, or at any time of year.