Librarian Stacie: The Latah County Library District is excited to announce our 2021 summer reading program, “Imagine Your Story,” beginning June 4. This summer’s program is open to community members of all ages, from babies to golden oldies. It is especially important for school-age children to continue to read throughout the summer so that they don’t fall victim to the dreaded “summer slide.” Because of the extraordinary circumstances of this year, children are at greater risk of losing their academic progress. According to the Idaho Commission for Libraries, children who participate in summer reading programs are “more likely to maintain the gains they made during the school year.”

Librarian Bailey: Excuse me, Stacie. While it is important for youth to join us for summer reading, I would argue that it is EQUALLY important for adults to join. According to Stuart Brown of the National Institute of Play, it is incredibly beneficial for adults to engage in fun activities to help maintain our social well-being and keep us connected. After this past year of isolation, setting aside time for fun is more important than ever.

Stacie: That might be true, but the importance of play also is well documented for youth. It helps them develop resiliency, social skills, executive functions and early literacy skills. Have you ever heard of sing, talk, read, write, play? Besides being beneficial and educational, I think kids will simply enjoy summer reading! Want to hear some of the things we have planned for summer reading at the Moscow Public Library?

Bailey: Sure do.

Stacie: Fairyopolis, where participants get to make their very own fairy house on the library grounds. The Mystery of Nancy Drew, complete with a Nancy Drew impersonator and a mystery kit to solve at home. Make-a-Zine, a chat with a local graphic novelist and a to-go zine making kit. A tie-dye program. And more.

Bailey: Well, this is awkward. I’m actually planning all of the same programs for adults at the exact same times and locations. Meaning all of the programs you just mentioned are for all ages. I think adults will enjoy these activities just as much as kids. There is no need for adults to feel that they need to come with a child; however, it will make it easier for grownups to participate with their children.

Stacie: While adults don’t need to bring a child to participate, all children should bring a grownup. There are a few programs that are geared more toward kids and families, including special summer STEM programming across the district and entertainment in the park with the city of Moscow. But otherwise, you are right. All of summer reading is open to all community members — regardless of age. Even the reading challenge is open to participants of all ages.

Bailey: That’s right. Participants of all ages can complete their first summer reading chapter by logging 10 days of reading. For the second chapter, all participants will get a bingo on their bingo card and get a blackout on their bingo card for the third and final chapter. Everyone will get prizes for each chapter completed and get entered for a chance to win grand prizes. We will have prizes and program elements that will be appropriate and fun for a range of ages.

Stacie: Summer reading is open to everyone in Latah County. Community members can visit all seven branches of our library district and find out what fun activities are planned.

Bailey: It’s also really easy to register. Our website, latahlibrary.org, has more information.

Stacey: Wow, I’m really excited about our new all ages summer reading program.

Bailey: Me too. Can’t wait for this summer.

(Stacie and Bailey air high-five and walk into the sunset.)

Echanove is the youth services manager, and Gillreath-Brown is the adult services manager for the Latah County Library District.

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