Pikes Peak Library District Summer Reading Program kicks off June 1

05/28/2009

New this year: an emphasis on toddlers and “tweens”

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Beginning Monday, children from birth to 18 are invited to visit the library for Pikes Peak Library District’s annual summer reading program. This year’s “Be Creative” program gives tots, tweens and teens a chance to showcase their artistic talents and enjoy imaginative performances from local puppeteers, storytellers, musicians, magicians, and actors.

The program runs June 1 to July 31, with free programs throughout El Paso County. Schedules can be picked up at any PPLD library, or viewed online at ppld.org. New this year is the offering of events just for tweens – children age 9-12, and a new reading program called “Read to Me” for parents of children under age 3.

“Because we want to emphasize early literacy, we wanted parents of even the youngest children know that it’s never too early to start the reading habit,” said Vicki Fox, manager of PPLD’s children’s department. “The Read to Me game emphasizes ways parents can build early literacy skills into daily activities.”

The tween program was created to appeal to pre-teens, because this age group often struggles to find their place in the library and the world of reading, Fox said. Tween programs include Wii Gaming, a superhero program, Tye-Dye class, Science Matters rocket launch, a visit with popular young adult author David Lubar, and a songwriting workshop with singer Andy Hackbarth.

Register for “Read to Me” (birth to 36 months), “Be Creative @ Your Library” (ages 3-12) and the teen “Read” (13 -18) online at ppld.org or at any PPLD library.

In 2008, 24,000 children participated in PPLD’s Children’s Summer Reading program. This year programs will include popular children’s performers Jim Jackson of the Manitou Art Theater, Beth Epley, and Inspector magic, along with a special performance by students from the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and more. Events for teens include gaming, chess, acting, music, free movie nights, art programs, and a chance to compete in Battle of the Bands in August.

“The Summer Reading program rewards reading with incentives, which add motivation for even reluctant readers,” Fox said. “Parents are the key in getting kids to the library and to giving kids this opportunity for free fun and lifelong reading habits.”

Prizes for children include coupons for free ice cream and food, swimming, skating, toys, books and more. Teen prizes include coupons for free food and games and the chance to enter a grand prize drawing. Game cards are available in English and Spanish.