By Conrad Dudderar
Reading is fundamental – and Yukon’s public library wants to make sure children keep reading this summer.
The Mabel C. Fry Library, 1200 Lakeshore, is getting ready to kick off the “Tails and Tales” summer reading program.
Registration opens Tuesday, June 1 with on-line activities offered throughout June and July for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, children, tweens, and teens.
“School just got out recently in Yukon and most surrounding communities, and we’ve already had lots of families with kids coming to our library and checking out books,” Yukon Librarian Sara Schieman said.
“Especially this year – with all the differences in learning for the school kids – it is so important for kids to keep reading this summer. When they go back to school in person this fall, they won’t have lost a lot in terms of reading ability.”
All summer activities will be online as Yukon’s library plans to return to in-person programming this fall.
“We’re going to continue to offer all our programs virtually this summer, for safety’s sake,” Schieman explained. “That was a tough call but having 100 or more young kids in one room for a program didn’t seem like the best choice.
“So, we’re still going to be virtual – and have lots of great programs planned.”
New this year, Yukon parents can track their children’s summer reading hours and program attendance using the virtual reading app READsquared.
“People can do it on their phones,” Schieman said. “We’re encouraging people to use the app; it’s pretty simply to do.”
Paper logs also will be available.
‘SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY’
The Yukon library’s “Tails and Tales” summer 2021 program features:
- Early literacy activities Wednesday mornings for newborns to children entering kindergarten this fall. Parents and children will work together to develop and enhance early literacy skills. Online story time will be offered for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that incorporate books, songs, movement, and more.
- Children’s activities Tuesdays for students entering grades 1-5 this fall. Children will accumulate points for rewards by reading books and participating in virtual programs presented by local presenters and the nationally acclaimed Page Turner Adventures. By meeting specific reading goals, children will be entered in a drawing for end-of-summer prize baskets; students who reach 1,000 points will earn entry to an end-of-summer pool party Aug. 2.
- Young adult activities Thursdays for students entering grades 6-12 this fall. Yukon youths will “take a walk on the wild side” this summer celebrating animals with virtual guest presenters and take-home projects. The students will track their time spent reading and attending programs to earn prizes like gift cards and fun library swag; with a grand prize drawing for Frontier City passes. Reaching 1,000 points also will gain them entry to the summer-ending pool party.
“The theme is ‘Tails and Tales’ so we have lots of books on pets and other kinds of animals,” Schieman explained. “We’re going to have animal-geared programs. There’s lots of opportunities for reading and programming fun.
“We have new fiction and non-fiction books, and we’ve bought new graphic novels for the kids. We should have something for everybody.”
GETTING BACK OPEN
Yukon’s Mabel C. Fry Library was closed in spring 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown and transitioned to virtual programming and online book/material check-out.
Yukon library staff is “pumped” about this summer and seeing patrons again, the librarian noted.
“We’ve been lonely,” Schieman admitted. “We’re excited to have kids come back to check out books. “It’s a little like normal with all these families in here. We’ve been busy recently and that’s been great.
“We’re super-excited just to get to see our people again. We’ve missed seeing the kids and being away from them.”
Computers and iPads are again available in the library children’s area. There also are inside and outside book drop-off.
Meanwhile, the Mabel C. Fry Library staff is again organizing Yukon’s “Freedom Fest” children’s parade at Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly.
Children will decorate their bikes, wagons and themselves for this fun patriotic July competition. Parents can pre-register at the Yukon library or the morning of the parade.
For more information on summer reading or the parade, call library staff at (405) 354-8232.