From page to page and cover to cover kids of all ages are leaping into a good book during their summer vacation, according to Leah Fritsche, children's librarian at the Watertown Public Library.
The library has a variety of programs available for children of different age levels."Reading Roundup," having a cowboy/cowgirl theme, is for younger children starting at age 3.The seven-week program began June 9 and runs through July 26.Fritsche
said these children read at home by themselves or with family members.
In the program children have to read a certain number of pages before they reach the next step.Once they've finished the first step youngsters have the chance to craft a sheriff's badge.Finishing the second step each child receives one pass to any Wisconsin state park.After completing the third level children select a book to keep and a coupon to Mullen's Dairy Bar
Libraries throughout the state involved in summer reading programs are distributing the park passes, Fritsche
added Ron Luepke, owner of Mullen's Dairy, donates the coupons to the library.
So far just under 200 children are involved in Reading Roundup.Average participation is about 300 to 400 children by the conclusion of the program, Fritsche
"This is about average.I've been here three years.It's been consistent with what we've had," she
said they have been averaging 25 to 40 children a week for the "Summer Reading Cafe
" program.The six-week program will conclude on July 26.
"They seem to really like it because they can do it on their own.They're sort of in the driver's seat for this," she
said the program will continue next year.
"Because of the success of this one we definitely will do this next year.The response has been incredible," she
The goal for the "Summer Reading Cafe
" program was to target middle school age students and it seems to be working, Fritsche
In the month of June 558 families came through the children's section of the library.
"You get a lot of people coming through to pick up books for vacation.Families come in for the programs.We seem to have a nice volume.Overall since I've been here it seems like there's been an increase in three years," Fritsche
said, adding books on audio tape have been popular this summer.Fritsche
said the Harry Potter series is popular with children, especially the new book.
"It's hard to get your hands on it.We actually don't see it in this room.It changes hands downstairs," she
has spent a lot of time talking to teachers and classrooms also visit the library.Teachers encourage students to join the summer reading program which may help some youngsters who have more difficulty with the task.She
said the programs are for children to have fun.
"It's a chance for them to read and be able to read the things they want to for fun," Fritsche
said, adding the programs help build children's reading skills and vocabulary.