Kids' World manager Yvette Johnson reports that 5,000 kids registered in this summer's reading program at the Library. Another 215 middle school students served as junior library volunteers (JLVs) and contributed 2,239 hours of service assisting with the summer reading activities and with the Library's July 4 Parade float.
Summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas and not needed for farm work, to read during their summer vacation, use the library, and develop the habit of reading.
"The benefits to young readers participating in a summer reading program are lasting," says Paula Moore, Executive Director at the Library. Reading over the summer helps children keep their skills up, encourages family fun, and can generate interest in reading as a lifelong habit through games, events, and skill-building activities coordinated by the Kids' World staff and volunteers.
Also instrumental to the Library's summer reading program success are the Friends of the Library. The Friends contributed funds for t-shirts, Arlington Theater gift certificates, and a wrap-up pizza party for the JLVs. The Friends generate funds through their quarterly used book sales to support items like summer reading incentives, that are not included in the Library's annual operating budget. The Friends' next sale is their Fantastic Fall Sale on the weekend of October 30-31 at the Library. More information  about the Friends and their sales.