Crafts, colors and books are the highlights of this year’s Summer Reading Program, as various libraries across the county embrace this year’s theme of Reading Colors Your World.

The program is designed to help combat summer learning loss. According to a 2020 assessment conducted by the NWEA, children in third to fifth grades lose an average 20% of their school-year gains in reading and 27% in math during summer break. This is on top of learning difficulties posed by adaptations made to the education system during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the not-for-profit company that provides assessments for K-12 educators.

“The theme this year of Reading Colors Your World to me highlights how we frequently experience new things through books first,” Roseburg Public Library Youth Services Librarian Aurora Ropp said. “If a child has an interest in an animal or place, they get a book about that subject. Reading about situations and places gives us that first taste of something new to add to our understanding.”

Riddle’s theme varies from other libraries in the county. Their events focus on the theme Tails and Tales. They will mix reading goals with a scavenger hunt, art lessons geared towards teens and an obstacle course for younger patrons.

“What child doesn’t enjoy a little climbing, balancing, tunneling or splashing through a challenging course on a hot summer day?” said Rita Radford, Riddle city library director of library services.

Each local library offers a variety of events meant to engage young readers and encourage them to explore their interests. Many have reading logs available for participants to fill out and submit to be entered to win prizes. Several libraries also offer free books.

Some events will be held at the library hosting them, while others will be held virtually. The Roseburg Public Library in particular has compiled a schedule that embraces social distancing, though the library has opened for limited hours.

Grab-and-go craft kits will be available every other Tuesday through Aug. 24. The Roseburg library has also brought back StoryWalk, where five different stories will be visually displayed throughout different city parks. Visit facebook.com/roseburglibrary for the StoryWalk schedule and roseburgpubliclibrary.org/summer-reading-program details specific to the Roseburg Public Library.

Each schedule is filled with festivities for all ages, while some libraries have decided to split events between age groups.

The Roseburg Public Library will also offer an adult Summer Reading Program, which includes participation in the library’s reading group on Facebook as well as prompts listed in the Summer Reading Program’s brochure to guide participants to a variety of reading opportunities.

“Summer reading is important for kids to be encouraged to read for fun,” Ropp said. “It is also important to help kids keep practicing their reading skills so that they do not lose their educational progress over the summer. My focus with summer reading is on reading for fun about topics that are interesting.”

Erica Welch is the special sections editor for The News-Review. She can be reached at ewelch@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4218.

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Community Reporter

Erica Welch is the special sections editor for The News-Review, mother of two and a native of Roseburg. She is an alumni of RHS, UCC and Western Oregon University. Contact her at ewelch@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4218.

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