As the school year comes to a close, your local public libraries are getting ready for our busiest time of the year: summer reading.

Here at the Latah County Library District, we are celebrating summer this year with the theme “A Universe of Stories.”

If your children attend school in Moscow, their classes were likely visited by the library district’s youth services department, decked out as astronauts to tell them all about the importance of summer reading and all the fun activities in which they can participate.

All youth ages 0 to 18 are invited to participate in the Latah County Library District’s Summer Reading Program.

The first day to register at any of the seven branches of the Latah County Library is Thursday; participants will have until Aug. 8 to complete three reading missions.

This year, Moscow Public Library will give out books and Idaho State Parks passes at registration to those who sign up for summer reading.

The three reading missions encourage children to actively engage in reading and allow them to experience literacy in new and fun ways.

The first mission is to log 10 days of reading on an assigned reading log. Mission two is to achieve a bingo on a Book Bingo card.

The third mission will require participants to blackout the same Book Bingo card, accomplishing every item listed. For each mission completed, participants will need to check in at their preferred branch library to receive a prize and be entered to win grand prizes.

In addition to participating in the reading missions, children and their grownups are invited to visit the library for special summer programs. All seven branches of the library will host awesome weekly events and all members of the community are welcome to join library events whether or not they have registered for in the program.

A quick peek into the district’s programming calendar reveals exciting events such as L-Bow the Clown, Reptile Man, Fairyopolis, space-themed crafts, birds of prey, Radical Rick, Movie Days, the Moscow Fire Department and more.

Moscow Public Library will also be offering more traditional weekly library programs including BabyTime Storytime on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in June and July, and Flower Child Storytime on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. beginning June 11 and going through July.

You may also see Miss Stacie and Miss Bailey out and about in the community as well this summer. We will be making appearances at Lena Whitmore Park during the free lunch program for Library in the Park, featuring storytimes and/or library activities.

We will also be teaming up with the city of Moscow Arts Department to bring you Entertainment in the Park Thursdays at 6 p.m. in June with a lineup of amazing performers. And don’t miss our second appearance at the Moscow Farmers Market in August, where we’ll read stories and provide interactive crafts. Caregiver attendance and active participation are required at all library youth programs.

Keep the library’s events calendar bookmarked and follow us on social media for more event information including several Adult Summer Reading programs.

Not only is summer reading an extremely fun and safe family activity, it also helps children retain the academic gains they made throughout the school year.

Often, during summer vacation, children lose these gains, but by continuing to exercise their brains and engaging in fun reading activities, children will be ready to enter the next grade when they arrive back at school in the fall.

We are truly honored to serve the youth of Latah County and hope that your families choose to join us this year.

Stacie Echanove is the Youth Services Manager for the Latah County Library District.

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