PLATTSBURGH - Plattsburgh Public Library has attracted area elementary school children to take part in their summer reading program for more than 10 years. This year, however, they received some assistance.
Library director Stanley A. Ransom contacted Hannaford Supermarkets in hopes of receiving grant money to cover expenses for the program.
"Each year, we have the summer reading program and it costs about $3,000 to put on," Ransom explained, which includes the costs of purchasing extra books and prize incentives for the children, who range in age from pre-schoolers through sixth grade.
According to Tara Morgan, community relations specialist for Hannaford, the company often supports "children-based organizations" such as summer camps, although they usually do so by providing healthy snacks.
"But, in this instance, it was very clear that these two organizations were in desperate need of some cash to even be able to move forward with these programs," Morgan explained, referring also to Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vt., who needed money for their summer reading program. "It was something a little bit different for us, but something that was obviously a worthy cause."
"We haven't had a grant from Hannaford's in the past," Ransom said. "One of the things that they are interested in is the promotion of children's reading. So, this is why we applied to them for this grant. We were just so delighted to hear that we were going to be receiving this grant."
This year, Plattsburgh Public Library is following the theme provided by the New York State Public Library, "Be Creative at Your Library." Some of the activities planned throughout the summer, which the grant money will go toward, include arts and crafts, storytelling, musicians, Mr. Beau the Clown, and Steve Charney, a ventriloquist.
"So, we have a little bit of everything," Ransom said.
"Once they're here we make sure they get a library card, take out books and get started with their reading," he added.
Ransom has found promoting reading for children during the summer months is a great advantage for them, often improving their reading skills.
"There was a study some years ago in a town in Long Island by teachers who said that children who don't read in the summer lose about 20 percent of their words. They forget them," Ransom explained. "If they're in the summer reading programs, not only do they not lose the 20 percent, but they often gain 10 or 20 percent more words."
"I think learning about books and becoming interested in reading at an early age is really really important and something that we want to support," said Morgan.
Registration for the summer reading program will be held at the Plattsburgh Public Library, 19 Oak St., Monday, June 22, through Saturday, June 27. For more information, call the library at 563-0921.