Summer reading program offers more than just a good book

CHAZY Throughout the state, millions of children are signing up for the statewide summer reading program, Catch the Reading Bug. According to the Web site for the New York State Education Department, more than a million children participated in last years reading program, with the hopes of an increase in participation every year. In a press release from the education department, Regents Chancellor Robert M. Bennett said, Reading is a year-round activity. We want to encourage summer reading to sustain the gains made during the school year. Reading expands horizons, and that will help to close the achievement gap. In Clinton County, many libraries are participating in the reading program, including Plattsburgh Public Library, Peru Free Library, Dodge Memorial Library and Chazy Public Library. The goal is to encourage children to become readers, for enjoyment, as opposed to school where you have to, said Frances Fairchild, Chazy Public Library director. Each library can plan their own events, which are usually centered around the idea of bugs. Chazys library is having various storytellers come and tell stories they know about bugs and insects, wrapping up with their choice of a craft. Children ages pre-school to sixth grade are welcome to attend. For a list of story times, visit their Web site at www.chazypubliclibrary.org. Aside from story time, Chazy Public Library is also having children sign up for the reading program to keep a list of how many books they read throughout the summer. This is fun; you dont have to do reports. It doesnt matter how many they read. Its just however much they want to read, said Fairchild. A wrap-up party will be held at the end of August for children who participate in the program. Fairchild said the Friends of the Library will donate a book to each child, with a focus on their reading level and their taste in books. I give them the option to change it to something else if they dont like it. Theyre usually pretty thrilled, Fairchild added. Mooers Free Library is also looking to get involved with the reading program, although director Edie Morelock needs volunteers to get the program off the ground. If looking to become a volunteer for the Mooers Free Library, contact them at 236-7744.

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