Yorktown Libraries holds summer reading program for local families

Books sit on a table in Hailey Maupin’s classroom at Southview Elementary School Jan 20. Jacy Bradley, DN
Books sit on a table in Hailey Maupin’s classroom at Southview Elementary School Jan 20. Jacy Bradley, DN

Yorktown Public Library is conducting a family reading program this summer. The program, which has been hosted since 2000, allows young kids ready to start a lifetime of enthusiastic reading and book-loving adults to connect and build a broad social circle. Hundreds of people participate each year, hoping to avoid the summer slide of boredom and excessive screen time. 

What attracts people to this particular reading program? Generally, members are drawn to a bright and diverse community that helps cultivate personal bonds through the power of literature, says Marketing and Communications Specialist Monica Thomas. 

“We want people who already love the library to have a great time, and to pull new community members into the fold and keep them coming back to all the awesome programs we offer year-round,” Thomas said. The library hosts events that range from kids’ story time to an arts and crafts club for teens and adults. 

“The motivation to start the program is similar to our current goal. We wanted to help keep kids from the summer slide, and keep them reading during the summer. We also wanted to bring people into the library, and help them connect with their community,” Lauren Davis, the youth services librarian at the Yorktown Library, said. The annual reading program is something families have grown to look forward to; bringing family and friends together is a top priority at the Yorktown library.

“We have dedicated families that all participate year after year.” Liz Rozelle, the director of the summer reading program, said. “Parents get a moment to talk to other adults when they are gathered. I know there have been instances where long term friendships have formed through many library programs.” Rozelle has been a part of this project for the past 21 years, and there’s no doubt she feels the same joy to this day. 

“I was the children’s librarian here in the 2000s. I loved the summer reading program then and I love it still. It is fun to see kids coming in excited about reaching reading goals…Our participation is super and I love to see the kids enjoying a good time as well as providing a free, educational and enjoyable time for families,” Rozelle said. 

The library coordinates family events throughout the summer at Morrow’s Meadow and Pleasant View Elementary School. Community members get together to enjoy animal exhibits, magicians and a big end of summer water show. These events give participants a great opportunity to get out of the house, talk to friends, and make new memories with loved ones, says Rozelle.

“I think the Summer Reading Program is about so much more than reading,” Thomas said, “As a new mom myself, I know firsthand how hard it can be to find good spaces to socialize with other parents, and I think the Summer Reading Program is such a welcoming and wonderful place to find your people. It costs nothing and offers so much!” 

Community Members can sign up starting June 3rd in person or online, with or without a library card. More information on signing up and events can be found atthe Yorktown Library website.


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