The programs, which include guest performers such as the "Turtle Lady," are geared toward children in school, explained librarian Linda Cochran of the Athens Public Library.
In school, Cochran
said, reading is considered an acquisition of a skill, and the pressure sometimes leaves kids with a bad taste about reading."The pleasure associated with reading comes second," she
noted that it has been statistically documented that children who read during the summer maintain higher academic standards."Summer reading programs are an advantage because they prevent 'summer backslide'," she
During the summer, children are able to read about topics they're interested in, and they can learn new things at the library even if they do not read.Cochran
will teach a program involving poetry and yoga, something that children might not otherwise have access to because it's not part of the usual school curriculum.
This is the library's first year in the parade, and Clifford the Big Red Dog will ride in the library truck, Cochran
"We do in-house programs, and we have outside performers," she
added.Many of the performers are local, and some come from the Cincinnati and Columbus areas."We try to draw as much as we can on local talent," she
One performer, a Columbus native, tries to teach children the importance of reading with the help of her
"fun pack" of pet turtles and other friends.
The libraries start planning for the summer program in the fall because many of the performers get booked way in advance, Cochran
said.They "kick into high gear" in January because the bookcamp is the most extensive program they do.
"It's important for us to empower each child.We want each child to feel valued for who they are and their own uniqueness," Cochran
said."The library is a good place to foster a good sense of community, and public libraries really are there for every citizen."