Braswell Memorial Library is gearing up for its biggest event of the year Friday when the 2014 Summer Reading Program begins.
The program rewards people of all ages for reading during the summer, something that is especially important in developing children, the library’s Director of Youth Services Linda Bunch said.
“It is so important for children to read over the summer,” Bunch said. “It has actually been proven that if they do not participate and do some form of exercises related to reading, math or whatever over the summer months, they can lose as much as two months learning over the summer. So it is very important to read over the summer.”
The kick off is from 10 a.m. to noon on the library’s back lawn and will feature a variety of food from local restaurants and entertainment, Bunch said.
“We have games, and we have food,” Bunch said. “We have characters that are coming. We have got the party people from Raleigh that are coming and they are bringing two characters. It is a great community event because all the local business and most local restaurants are willing to participate and support literacy for the area.”
Gerry Felton, PNC Site Leader for Rocky Mount Operations, agreed.
“We all know that reading is a critical part of a child’s early development and in opening their eyes and minds to new opportunities and ideas,” Felton said. “PNC’s support of Braswell (Memorial) Library’s summer reading program helps us embrace our community’s youth and families in the important and fun world of reading.”
The program is a statewide initiative, with this year’s theme being Fizz Boom Read!, Bunch said.
“We have registration for all of the program,” Bunch said.
The library offers services for youth, teens, adults and genealogy researchers, Bunch said.
“I think this is the third year we are offering genealogy,” she said. “It is for all ages, so there is no excuse.”
Each group will have events each week until the program ends July 31.
There is a quota for each group, Bunch said, but there is flexibility.
“There is no (reading) list or test,” Bunch said.
“We just ask that people read their reading level and read the amounts we have to read. Then they bring the charts in, and for adults and teens it might be a little bit different, and then they get prizes.”
Although the program requires about a year’s worth of planning – Bunch said she is already working on next year’s – she also said it is a lot of fun.
“It is a lot of fun and hard work,” Bunch said. “We have a terrific staff that works hard to get all these programs lined up. We just need the community to come out and support it and read.”