June 2022

Summer Reading

Avoid the Slide

by diane cowen

Summer Slide is the term used to describe learning loss that children experience over the summer when they are out of school and away from structured learning activities. Children and teens who do not read over the summer lose some of the achievement gains made during the previous school year. These summer setbacks are particularly problematic because early education serves as the foundation for the achievement, work habits, and perceptions about self-confidence and schooling that impact performance for years to come. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) can help with that! The Library Summer Reading Program provides educational, fun enrichment activities, and they’re free!

The 2022 Summer Reading program kicks off on June 1 and runs through July 31! Throughout June and July, SCPL will be offering a variety of performer events, including circus, magic, and puppet shows, dancers, drumming, and a virtual interactive bilingual presentation featuring Delrita the Elephant.

In addition, the Library will provide Summer Reading Outreach Pop-up Programming events through the “Lunch at the Library” grant administered by the California State Librarian. Library staff will visit six sites that provide summer meals to students throughout the county, with free books, giveaways, and reading logs. The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries provided additional funds for this program.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries partnered with Atlantis Fantasyworld, Penny Ice Creamery, and the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries to offer incentives that encourage children and teens to read. Upon signing up, children and teens receive an Atlantis Fantasyworld coupon they can use to select a book.

After completing 5 hours of reading, kids ages 11 and under receive a free book to keep, and teens receive a backpack with goodies. After reading 20 hours, kids and teens receive a Free Scoop Coupon from Penny Ice Creamery. They also receive raffle tickets for completing activities incorporating STEAM, outdoor exploration, and creative expression while providing opportunities for practicing critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

The Library’s extensive collections of print, ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels, along with lists of recommended books for all ages, makes it easy to find reading materials of interest.

Parents are encouraged to read together with their children and participate in the Adult Summer Reading Program. Incentives include an SCPL Bookbag and raffle prizes, including a family pass to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Adults who sign up by June 17 will be entered into a drawing to win tickets to Santa Cruz Shakespeare. The drawing will take place the week of June 21.

The Summer Reading Program locations may vary from previous years as Garfield Park, Branciforte, Live Oak, and Scotts Valley branches prepare to reopen and the Aptos Branch Library and Live Oak Annex construction begins. The projects are part of the long-term vision to provide safe, accessible spaces with modern features at all branches, thanks to Measure S, the 2016 library bond act, and fundraising by Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Stunning new library spaces have already become hubs of community life for Felton, La Selva Beach, Capitola, and Boulder Creek. On June 11, the historic Garfield Park branch in Santa Cruz will celebrate its grand opening with festivities from 12 – 4 p.m. Once threatened with closure and now beautifully renovated to serve the 21st century, Garfield Park is ready to welcome a new generation of visitors!

The Scotts Valley branch anticipates reopening in mid-July, the Live Oak branch in August, and Branciforte in September. Aptos Branch Library and the Live Oak Annex are under construction, with openings expected in 2023.

The Downtown Santa Cruz Branch Library is the most significant library improvement planned for opening in 2026. Desperately needing replacement, the branch is part of a new mixed-use project combining library services with affordable housing and child care — a forward-thinking, sustainable opportunity for our community.

Everyone can participate in Summer Reading using the paper log or the Beanstack App. Visit any open branch of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries to sign up or go online. For a complete list of all the Summer Reading Program activities and locations, see the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Summer Reading Program page at SantaCruzpl.org/srp.

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