Summer: Time to dig in to reading

Learning to read takes practice, and summer is the perfect opportunity for kids to “dig into reading” because it’s a chance to read for fun in a relaxed setting.

Reading over the summer directly impacts children’s cognitive skills, increases their vocabulary and helps motivate them.

“We encourage all families to make time for reading year-round, but particularly in the summer, so that children stay in the habit of reading, increasing literacy, fostering the love of reading, and keeping them on track for better academic performance when they return to school in August,” says Denise Rehmke, library coordinator for the Iowa City Community School District.

Participating in the Iowa City Public Library’s summer reading program, Dig into Reading, is an excellent way to help your elementary schoolchild practice reading skills over the summer and prevent the “summer slide,” the loss of skills over summer break.

Dig into Reading is a flexible game designed for preschoolers through sixth grade, combining reading and activity suggestions with prizes. Each child who finishes will win a T-shirt.

Even babies and toddlers are developing language and literacy skills, and Dig with Me, the summer reading game for the library’s youngest patrons, features activities that parents can do with their little ones to build skills.

There are summer reading programs for teens and adults, too. Keep children engaged in learning by signing the whole family up for summer reading.

For the first time at the library, registration will be available online at, beginning May 28. The program runs June 1 through July 31.

Join the library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8 on the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall to kick off the summer reading season with Children’s Day.

The day will be held in conjunction with Summer of the Arts Iowa Arts Festival, which celebrates 30 years June 7 to 9. Get creative at one of the art activity booths or enjoy a show on the Family Stage. There also will be live performances, arts and crafts, and planting in the Library’s Children’s Garden.

Vickie Pascicznyuk is children’s services coordinator at the Iowa City Public Library.

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