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Bringing Kids to Summer Reading

The Palisades Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library wants kids to get credit for reading.

After nine solid months of school, it's true that your average kid is not too excited about doing more reading. But the Palisades Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library has a summer reading club that should make books a lot more appealing.

"We're trying to put the fun back in it," said librarian Gail Kim.

There are three reading clubs that kids can join. Two, with the theme Dream Big, are for younger children, with a group for pre-kindergarten-age children and another for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Children up through grade 12 can join the group Own the Night. The programs are based on a program offered by the California Library Association to libraries state-wide.

Each group offers prizes for reading for 10 hours and doing activities on a game card. Kim said the emphasis on time spent reading is because children at the picture book level can read a lot more in a shorter time.

"They'll blitz their way through a zillion things," Kim said. An older child may take all summer just to read one or two novels, "And that's a huge accomplishment for them."

Kids entering sixth grade or later also have summer reading lists to work through, but Kim said that reading can count toward their time spent.

"We call it do the reading once, get the credit everywhere," she said.

The prizes will vary, but will include a free book, and are funded through out the Los Angeles Public Library system by several private foundations, such as the Flora Thornton Foundation, and companies such as Mattel, Inc.

Children who complete their activity cards will also be entered into a city-wide drawing for an iPad (for the older children) or a four-person family package of tickets to Disneyland (for the younger two children's groups).

Kim said the activities can be as simple as telling a librarian a joke, and that children can do the same activity multiple times. The important thing is that they come into the library, at 861 Alma Real Drive, Pacific Palisades, and sign up.

eitan Schwarz June 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Great ideas. Eitan Schwarz MD zillydilly.com

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