Libraries’ programs encourage summer literacy

The Central Library in Grand Junction reopened on June 20, but the summer reading program has taken place since the beginning of June at all eight locations.

Smiling, young children circle up for story time eager to hear about dinosaurs. The interactive preschool story time follows the theme of Mesa County Library’s summer reading program, which was designed to encourage early literacy.

The children’s, teen’s and adult’s program have an earthy focus this year. The three programs are titled respectively, “Dig Into Reading,” “Beneath the Surface” and “Groundbreaking Reads.”

Bob Kretschman said that the program’s aim is to keep kids and families reading during the summer months. Each reader tracks his or her own progress. Kids track by time read, while teens and adults track the amount of pages read.

After the completion of a number of hours or pages, participants are entered into prize drawings. Kids prizes range from dinosaur kits to Grand Junction Rockies tickets. The adult and teen prizes include gift cards and Nooks.

This year the adult program is reading for a cause as well. Mesa County Libraries partnered with PetSmart to benefit the Roice-Hurst Humane Society. When adult readers’ points total 800, a scoop of pet food will be donated to the human society.

“It’s the first year that we’ve done reading for a cause. It’s a good way to read for a good cause rather than read for something,” Kretschman said.

Because Central Library was closed most of June, the library expected fewer numbers, Kretschman said.

The various levels that the summer reading program offers allows families to participate together, Kretschman said. But because of the summer break, kids are the program’s targets. 

“Reading can help prevent ‘summer setback’ and keep brains engaged. For adults it’s fun year round to read,” Kretschman said.

All eight locations in the county participate in the summer reading program. To sign up visit the library or the Mesa County Libraries website. The program runs until July 29.


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