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Library News

By: Pam Comello, Youth Services Librarian
For: Red Rock News
Date: August 21, 2009

Summer Reading and Youth Department News

Its hard to believe the month of August is here and school has begun for children in the area. The Be Creative @ Your Library Summer Reading Program for kids and Express Yourself @ Your Library Summer Program for teens ended August 1. There were 159 students registered this summer and 88 students reported completing the program. A total of 1,228 hours of reading were reported this summer.

Many exciting musical programs took place over the summer, including: Danging with No Shoes On with Flagstaff musician Chuck Cheesman, Step's Junk Funk from Mesa, Arizona, and Prescott's Sticks n' Tones. Storyteller Indiana Bones from Albuquerque, New Mexico and Taiko Japanese Drumming also entertained with evening programs.

Preschool and primary aged children ages 3 through 7 had weekly art classes available to them taught by local West Sedona teacher Elizabeth Platte. Tweens and teens could sign-up for a two-week Drama Intensive workshop taught by local professionals Dev Ross and Shondra Jepperson. The workshop culminated in a performance open to family and friends as well as the public. Gaming Days were held on various Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kids ages 11-16 could play teen X-box and Wii games and compete with peers in tournaments.

An awards party was held at Sedona Public Library Saturday, August 15 for all summer reading participants with refreshments and supplies donated by McDonalds, Safeway, and Webers IGA. Summer participants were able to select a free book and additional prizes as well as being awarded certificates of completion for hours read this summer. Face and body painting was available by Jean-Marie of Turn the Other Cheek and Christy of Painting You.

The State of Arizona Library provided a grant for Evanced Solutions, a Summer Reading Software program. Students were able to register and report this years summer reading program online through Sedona Public Librarys website for the first time. Registration and reporting in previous years was paper- driven and done in person.

Thanks to Sedona- Oak Creek School District librarians Tana Williams at Big Park School, Cheryl Yeatts and Maggie Castillo at West Sedona School and Elaine Vail at Red Rock High School for partnering with us to help promote the reading program and encourage students to register online and participate. Thanks also to Daryl Lusher, Sedona Public Library Youth Assistant, for creating and producing Summer Reading Program promotional DVDs for kids and teens that were introduced by us and then shown at local schools during the students library times. We appreciate the partnership and support we have with local school administrators, teachers and librarians encouraging students to read during the summer and participate in library programs and activities.

The benefits of summer reading have been around since the 1890s as a way to encourage school children (particularly those in urban areas not needed for farm work) to read during their summer vacation and use the library to develop the habit of reading. The benefits today are no different. Summer reading today encourages reading to become a lifelong habit and it provides a way for reluctant readers to be drawn in by activities.

According to the American Library Association, research shows that reading over the summer helps children keep their skills up or at the grade level completed. Skills gained during a school year can be lost by students who dont read during the summer. To be most effective for the student, summer reading is a guided process that includes the student, parent, teacher, the library and books!

In conclusion, a huge thank you must be given to the Friends of the Sedona Public Library. Without their generous support, Sedona Public Library Summer Reading Program would not have been able to provide the wonderful events and programs that were offered to youth of all ages this summer, most of which were free to all children in the community.

Regular preschool programs are offered during the summer and throughout the rest of the year. There are weekly story times with crafts and Bi-Lingual story time for ages 3 - 8. "Music for Tots" program, "Sing, Say & Sign" American Sign Language instruction, and Baby Braintime story times are offered for parents and their young children on alternating Thursday mornings at 10:30.

New Day for Childrens Story Time begins in September
Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. Noon
Every 1st Saturday for Stories and Crafts in English/Spanish for ages 3-8.
All other Saturdays for Stories and Crafts in English (best for ages 3-5)

Pam Comello
Pam Comello, author of this week's article,
is Youth Services Librarian of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.