Friday, October 24, 2014

Holyoke Public Library Reading Program Hits New Heights

Holyoke Public Library Children’s Librarians, Jason Lefebvre and Nathan Hayes, have completed their analysis of this summer’s recent Children’s Reading Program and have reported that the program achieved all of its major goals with a total of nearly 2,000 youngsters participating in one or more of the many activities and events offered.

A total of 260 youngsters registered for and participated in the annual Summer Reading Program itself, which involved a commitment by each youngster to read a set number of hours each week, either by themselves, or in the case of the younger participants, reading with an adult.

A popular part of the program included the presentation of a series of special events and guest performers, with a puppet show proving to be the most popular attracting some 65 children. Other favorites were a visit by the Whalemobile, which featured a life-size inflated whale, and a performance by Magician, Mike Bent. A special guest from the Springfield Science Museum presented two special science oriented shows and the summer series concluded with a party for the children who had participated,

Weekly Story Time presentations were well attended and a total of 154 youngsters participated in the library’s free craft program. With 74 distinct activities offered by the Children’s Department many of the youngsters took advantage of multiple events. The Library also welcomed daily visits by children enrolled in programs run by the Holyoke YMCA and Holyoke Boys and Girls Club, combined totals adding up to more than 700 visits.

Preliminary planning is already underway for special children’s activities for this fall and winter. Among them are a preschool program “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” which will involve both children and adults, with the parents (or other adult) reading to the child and gradually assisting the child to reach a level where the child can read simple words and sentences, and gradually, short children’s stories. This program is part of an effort to improve reading skills among young children to help give them better preparation for their entry into kindergarten itself, and long-term, an overall better start in school.

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