‘Catch the reading bug’ in Eagle County | VailDaily.com

‘Catch the reading bug’ in Eagle County

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
HL Summer Reading Program DT 5-27-08

The sun is out, there’s not a cloud in the sky and you’ve got some down time. What’s it going to be: hiking, running, biking, parasailing … reading? It may not be the most adventurous of activities, but recreational reading during the summer months is a good way to pass the time and keep your brain sharp. This especially applies to younger kids.

“You don’t ever want the mind to stop learning, you want it to keep going,” said Kari Thorne, youth services librarian at the Avon Public Library.

According to Thorne, reading is one way for young students to retain knowledge over summer vacation when classroom lessons are often forgotten.

The summer is also a good time for kids to select what they want to read instead of being forced to read for homework or a class. Parents should also keep in mind that reading in front of or to their children sets a positive example ” hopefully one their kids will follow.

In an effort to keep summer time reading on everybody’s mind, the Eagle Valley Library District and Vail Library is hosting several summer reading programs for all ages.

The children’s program is called “Catch The Reading Bug” this year and features insect-oriented themes, games and prizes for kids in grades K through 5.

But fighting for a child’s attention span in an arena full of video games and television isn’t easy, and Thorne said that even if kids are reading books on computers or listening to audio books, it’s still educational and good for them.

“Different kids learn (in) different ways,” Thorne said.

Tom Cornwell agrees, and getting kids to use all five of their senses to learn is important to him. He wrote and recorded an album called “Bug Songs” after working in the extermination business for years. Cornwell will kick off the kid’s summer reading program with a live show at all three public libraries on June 11. His mission is to educate kids through music and provide them with a positive role model.

“Reading takes you to other places that you can’t necessarily go to physically, and then by the same token, when we’re talking about learning, so does music,” Cornwell said.

He uses visuals like inflatable insects along with colorful lyrics to pull kids into the learning process, and he said he has every intention of encouraging kids to read.

The adult reading program is more about encouraging adults to read on their own time and then discuss the material in a group. But many adults have their own obstacles when it comes to reading.

“Finding the time to read is what I consider the biggest challenge,” said Michelle Marx, adult programs librarian in Avon. While kids may have their own distractions, some adults have work, chores and taking care of the kids to get through before they pick up a book.

The important thing is to make reading fun, whether you’re an adult or child, and Thorne said that’s one of her biggest goals when designing the library’s summer reading programs.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

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