Courtney Tam’s four year-old was one of many children who enjoyed watching agile performers from Conventry and Kaluza show off their juggling and acrobatic tricks at the Central Park Library on June 7 for the 2014 Summer Reading Kickoff Party. Tam’s 18 month-old toddler learned to make slime in cups offered by Mad Science, one of the groups tabling at the event.
“This event appeals to a full range of ages,” Tam says. “I signed my kids up for the summer reading program here.”
At the party, attended by about 350 people, visitors signed up for the children, teen, and adult summer reading programs. Registrations will be accepted until July 12. Last year, the adult program drew 1,369 sign ups, the children’s program received about 3,200 sign ups, and the teens’ program gathered about 1,000 sign ups.
“We want to get kids reading so they don’t lose their reading comprehension skills over the summer, and they’d be better prepared for school when they return in the fall,” says Erin Ulrich, the library’s program coordinator of youth services. Ulrich adds that Keypoint Credit Union is sponsoring events for this summer’s youth reading programs.
“Parents should be modeling reading behavior for their children,” says Morgan Rose Pershing, a reference librarian overseeing the adult program. “With our aging boomer population, it’s all the more important to keep that segment of society involved in programming and keep their minds active with reading.”
“The children can challenge themselves to read how many books they want, whether it’s five books or 100 books,” Ulrich says. “At the end, the kids will receive a free book. The books this year are sponsored by the Mission City Community Fund and the Santa Clara City Library’s Foundation and Friends.”
Teen participants must read five books. When they meet their goal, they will receive a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card, donated by the library foundation. Participating teens will be entered into a drawing for an iPad Mini.
“Adults in the program have to read a minimum of five books,” Pershing says. “They get a small prize packet when they turn in their reading log, and this reading log will be used as a raffle ticket to win one of two Kindle Paperwhites.”
“Paws to Read” is this year’s program theme. Therefore, the library is teaming up with Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority to invite the community to drop off donations at the library for the animal care center. Needed items include pet food, cat and dog toys, and cat play structures.