TRUCKEE, Calif. — As I explained back in June, research has shown that if your child’s brain remains stagnant without challenge over the summer months, they could lose, on average, 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in math skills and nearly a whole reading level.
The Truckee Library’s annual summer reading program is the perfect antidote to summer brain drain, helping preserve and even enhance reading levels.
We had another record-breaking summer with 308 children participating. This is the first year that sign-ups surpassed the 300 benchmark. For every six hours of reading, participants chose either a treasure chest prize or a gently used book to add to their permanent collection at home. Nearly 50 participants read the full 24 hours necessary to collect the grand prize: two gift certificates from the Bookshelf and Round Table Pizza.
There were five special events to help encourage children to keep reading. A magic show kicked off the program in June and a professional storyteller/juggler entertained in July. Also in July, we hosted both an edible craft program as well as our first ever Stuffed Animal Sleepover.
In August, for the seventh year running, Wild Things, Inc., a nonprofit wildlife rescue organization based in Weimar, Calif., gave an entertaining and educational finale.
It is always a pleasure to witness the wide-eyed wonder of Truckee kids as they are introduced to wild animals in the library, of all places! This year, we were treated to an armadillo, baby kangaroo, lemur, tortoise, African wildcat, and most thrilling of all, an alligator.
The highlight was getting an opportunity to pet the full-sized and very patient alligator, who didn’t seem to mind as the 60-plus children cycled through the petting line. These are animals that either have injuries that keep them from surviving in the wild, or animals individuals have tried to keep as illegal pets.
Lucky attendees at this popular program learned about each individual animal, their personal history, as well as its natural history and importance to the environment.
We would like to give an extra-special thank you to the Friends of the Truckee Library for their generous funding for summer reading program materials, prizes and entertainment and to the Bookshelf for their awesome gift certificates. The Friends make the summer reading program possible and the Bookshelf helps make the experience so much richer for its participants.
Teri Andrews Rinne is the children’s services librarian at the Truckee Library, 10031 Levon Ave., Truckee. Call 530-582-7846 or visit www.mynevadacounty.com/library.