Throughout the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 23 member libraries are participating in the Summer Reading Program the New York State Library promotes every summer.
Within this newspaper's readership area, eight libraries have chosen to take part to encourage children to continue reading once the school year has ended, much to the delight of people like New York State Education commissioner Richard P. Mills.
"These days, families can't afford to buy all the books they might want to read," Mills stated in a press release. "Kids today need arm loads of books - not just for learning, but for inspiring their creative minds, and just to pass the time on a summer day."
CEFLS outreach coordinator Julie Wever said there are other benefits to having the Summer Reading Program, including an increase of usage at the libraries.
"I think it's a great opportunity to increase library usage over the summer and showcase the offerings of a lot of our little member libraries," Wever explained. "There's a wealth of information and opportunities there. This really helps get families in to take part."
CEFLS is assisting their participating libraries by distributing mini-grants to help ease the cost of activities each library endures.
Every year, the NYSL comes up with a theme for participating libraries to follow. This year, the theme is "Be Creative @ Your Library," in which many of the libraries will provide special story times as well as arts and crafts.
However, there is an added element this year for children who choose to take part in the program.
"Every child that participates in the 2009 Statewide Summer Reading Program will receive a signed New York State Senate "Certificate of Merit" in recognition of their effort," Sen. Elizabeth O'C. Little, R-Queensbury, stated in a letter. "Reading during the summer will not only help children perform better academically, but many will also develop a love of reading that lasts a lifetime."
Little added she has sponsored a reading program throughout the 45th district for several years, but this year chose to join forces with the NYSL.
"The benefit of children reading during the summer months is well-known," Little stated. "As a mother, grandmother and former school teacher, I have seen the difference."
The following libraries are participating in the NYSL Summer Reading Program:
Dodge Memorial Library, 144 Lake St., Rouses Point. Kick-off for Summer Reading Program will be Tuesday, July 7, at 10 a.m., with storyteller, singer and illustrator "Speedy" Arnold. For more information, contact director Donna Boumil at 297-6242 or e-mail email@example.com.
Champlain Memorial Library, 148 Elm St., Champlain. First day of program will be Tuesday, July 7, from 6-7 p.m. with Wendy and John Annette and their service dog Glory. For more information, contact director Alison Mandeville at 298-8620 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mooers Free Library, 2430 U.S. Route 11, Mooers. Kick-off for program will be Wednesday, July 1, at 1 p.m. with cartoonist Stan Burdick. For more information or to register, contact director Edie Morelock at 236-7744 or e-mail email@example.com.
Chazy Public Library, 9633 State Route 9, Chazy. The program's kick-off will be held Wednesday, July 1, at 10:30 a.m. with storyteller Karen Pillsworth, for children in grades 1-6. For more information, contact Francie Fairchild at 846-7676 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dodge Library, 9 Fiske Road, West Chazy. The first story time will be held Tuesday, June 23, at 5 p.m. for elementary school students. First story time for preschool children will be held Thursday, July 2, at 5 p.m. For more information or to register, contact Larry Hahn at 493-6131.
Dannemora Free Library, 1168 Cook St., Dannemora. Registration begins after the last day of school and reading will begin Monday, July 6. All story times will be held Wednesdays at 11:15 a.m. for ages 2-5. For more information, contact director Laura Pritchard at 492-7005 or e-mail email@example.com.
Plattsburgh Public Library, 19 Oak St., Plattsburgh. Sign-up for program will be Monday, June 22, in the Children's Room, for children through age 12. First event will be Wednesday, July 1, at 1:30 p.m. with storyteller Karen Pillsworth. For more information, contact Sharon Bandhold at 563-0921, ext. 5, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peru Free Library, 3024 Route 22, Peru. First event will be Tuesday, July 7, at 2:30 p.m. with Mr. Beau the Clown. For more information, contact director Rebecca Pace at 643-8618 or e-mail email@example.com.
For more details on upcoming events at each library check out the Regional Calendar of Events each week in this newspaper.