Summer in the Northern hemisphere officially begins on the summer solstice (June 20 this year), when the Earth’s Northern pole has its maximum tilt towards the Sun. From our perspective, this is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and the day has the longest period of daylight. Within the Arctic circle, there is continuous daylight on this date. But there is another marker that we use for the passing of the season, as spring comes to an end, and it is a little closer… The Natchitoches Parish Library’s (NPL) Summer Reading Program (SRP)!
The SRP Kick-Off party will be Saturday, May 28, from 9:30AM to 4:30 PM on the NPL’s front lawn. The library will be hosting The Party Wagon Petting Zoo, all day long, with magic shows at 11 AM and 2 PM from Nathan Roberts. There will also be free hand-painting, snow cones, cotton candy, and popcorn. A registration booth will be available all day and everyone who signs up gets a chance to win a prize.
“Growing up, I always looked forward to the fun of the Summer Reading Program at the library,” says Alan Niette, NPL Community Outreach Coordinator. “Now, on the other side of things, everyone at the NPL looks forward to offering this service to our community.”
The SRP works to promote reading to adults, teens, and children. And, while everyone gets the mental health benefits from lifelong reading and learning, it is especially important for kids on break from school. There is often a regression in academic proficiency that hinders progress in the following school year, with a recent study by the Northwest Evaluation Association showing, on average, a 20% loss from school-year gains. This “summer slide” puts younger children at most risk as they are at a crucial stage in their development. The SRP engages kids and their interests’ so that their letter knowledge, decoding, and word reading skills continue to develop, rather than stagnate or decline. Each week, the NPL’s Main Branch and Northeast Branch in Campti will offer performances for children.
For a full schedule, visit natlib.org or follow the NPL on social media. Weekly programs for teens and adults will be offered as well. The theme this year, “Tails and Tales” and participants can read to earn six prizes and extra entries for grand prize drawings.