The children of Diane Murray peruse books after a recent trip to the Scarborough Public Library Courtesy photo/Diane Murray

Every youth librarian knows that summer is a critical time for children to keep up their reading skills. According to research from the National Summer Learning Association, children can lose up to three months of their school year learning during this time. For over 100 years, summer reading programs, SRP, have been a long-standing tradition in public libraries as a way to help prevent the ‘summer slide.”

At the Scarborough Public Library, we strongly believe that reading during the summer is important, but we also want children to explore their interests, find ways to engage with their community, and develop new skills. That’s why our reading program has two components: a place to keep track of books read, and a list of over 50 fun activities to do inside or out in nature. Some suggested activities include going on a picnic, exploring a Scarborough beach, going for walks on one of the many Scarborough Land Trust trails to make a map of your neighborhood, throwing a family dance party, or learning a new skill like knitting, crochet, sewing, drawing, or cooking.

Our summer motto is: Be Curious. Read. Discover. Create.

The Summer Reading Program began the last day of school and goes until Labor Day weekend. In this time of COVID-19, we are not requiring families to register. Instead, pick up a Reading Log at the Library, Ace Hardware at Oak Hill, Community Services in Town Hall, or print one from the Youth page of our website. The Reading Log allows participants to keep track of books they read on their own, books that are read to them (including audio books), and any book they read to someone else, like a younger sibling. We do not require children to read a certain number of books, pages, or hours. We hope families will help their child(ren) set realistic goals, such as setting aside 20-30 minutes every day to read.

On the inside of the Reading Log is the listing of activities. The Friends of Scarborough Library generously sponsor the Summer Reading Program.

Don’t know what to read? Just ask anyone who works in the Youth Services Department for a recommendation. You can stop in, call (883-4723, option 3) or email us at [email protected] We love making book recommendations.

We want children to love reading, and to look forward to visiting the public library. By helping them set attainable goals, children will have a feeling of ‘I Can Do It.’ We want to create an atmosphere of celebration and fun to make sure every child, no matter their age, feels like a winner at our Library.

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