School is out and the lazy days of summer reading are here for kids, teens and adults, too, highlighted by weekly, family-oriented movies, programs and entertainment at all three city libraries and, Monday evenings at 7 p.m., at the Central Park Pavilion. Kids can even meet San Jose Giants baseball players and have pictures taken with them at the libraries.
The Santa Clara Central Park Library summer reading kickoff took place June 11, outdoors behind the library, where kids enjoyed crafts and games. Ventriloquist Tony Borders entertained with puppet animals.
Borders introduced Rosey Roo the kangaroo, Freddy the frog flattened on the freeway, a zebra who thought it was a horse, and Horton the Who, an elephant from the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s books. Children helped out with magic tricks. After the show, they had their pictures taken with Borders and his puppet shark.
“The library is the best resource in the community!” says Youth Services Program Coordinator Erin Ulrich. “We have free entertainment for the community, and kids get to take home books. Everyone benefits.”
Kids, teens and adults have until July 23 to sign up for the summer reading program, either at the library or online at www.sclibrary.org. About 5,000 signed up city-wide in 2015.
Kids and teens who sign up by July 20 will be entered in a drawing to win the privilege of throwing the first pitch at the August 5, 7 p.m., San Jose Giants home game at the Municipal Stadium in San Jose.
Children set their own reading goals and keep a log of the books they read or that are read to them. Those who turn in their reading log between July 25 and September 4, will receive a certificate and a free paperback book.
“I like to read. I read at the library three times a week,” says entering 5th grader Logeshwari C. “There are stories about people, and they tell about their actions. Some things remind me of my life.”
Teens who read five books will receive a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card and be entered in a drawing for an iPad mini. Adults who read or listen to at least three books have the chance to win a Kindle or Amazon gift certificates.
New this summer is the opportunity for kids and teens to review books orally and have their reviews shared on the library’s community page. This is done by downloading a free app called “keepy” (getapp.keepy.me/sclibrary) on a mobile device. Those who post reviews can win prizes.
The entire city-wide, summer reading program, which costs $30,000, is funded by KeyPoint Credit Union, Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends and Kaiser Permanente.
“I love reading, especially fantasy, fiction,” says entering 6th grader Gul N. “I sit on the sofa at home. I read every day–about an hour or however long one book takes me. I’m basically a book worm.”
“I can visit so many places. If a story takes place in Ohio, I feel like I’ve been to Ohio,” she continues. “I’ve been to China, Russia, France and Australia. I don’t need a passport. I just need a library card.”