Kaydee Puppets puts on a show starring Dudley Dog and friends at the George Mason Regional Library, Wednesday, July 1. Numerous families attended the event to observe the canine’s crime-solving skills, which feature in a series as one of the Summer Reading Program’s family events.
Photo by Thomas Friestad/The Connection
Although young readers may have put down the books since leaving classrooms last month, the Fairfax County Public Library has kicked off its Summer Reading Program to nurture a love of pleasure reading during the vacation months. A coupon book full of local discounts awaits all elementary students that read 15 books and teens that read six books, respectively, between June 19 and Sept. 5.
“Older kids who are not yet in the teen category and who choose to read longer, more challenging books may count each of those books twice,” said Ted Kavich, Program and Educational Services manager.
The program also entails a variety of age-appropriate performances at local libraries, including but not limited to puppet and magic shows, science experiments and ongoing book sales.
“The Summer Reading Program is a single, giant, system-wide program, but it features many individual performances at our library branches,” Kavich said. “Some of these events are geared for school age kids, some for the whole family and some for teens.”
Kavich said, each year, the Summer Reading Program features one special event in addition to the regular ones. He said this year’s event will be a “Star Wars Celebration” event.
“Thanks to generous funding from the Friends of the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, we’re presenting this event at the Chantilly Regional Library on Aug. 4,” Kavich said. “The event will include a talk by Star Wars book and comic author John Jackson Miller, costumes and door prizes.”
Geoff Knowlton, 10, of Laurel Ridge Elementary has participated in the Summer Reading Program for the past three years. He said his favorite part of participating in the program is the moment of finishing all 15 required books.
“I like when you’re done with a book because you have a feeling of reward when you’ve read all 15,” Knowlton said. “I’ve done the program for three years, I think, and I plan on doing it again in the future.”
Kavich said his favorite part of the Summer Reading Program is its partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools to keep reading skills alive in local youth during a time when they might be tempted to let them fall by the wayside.
“The not-so-secret goal of the Summer Reading Program is to keep kids and teens reading throughout the summer so they don’t lose important reading skills while school is out,” Kavich said. “With that goal in mind, we make the program as fun and appealing as possible. It continues to be a huge success and something that kids and parents eagerly anticipate each year.”