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Turlock Library promotes summer reading with kick-off event
Summer reading pic 2
The Turlock Library will host popular characters from Marvel and Star Wars once again for their third annual Summer Reading Kick-off from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. - photo by Journal file photo

Summer may be better associated with swimming pools, barbecues, and vacations, but it is also a great time to crack open a book or two or three, especially so children don’t experience the “summer slide” when it comes to reading skills.

The Stanislaus County Library system is hoping to keep children engaged in reading with their annual Summer Reading Challenge and the Turlock Library will be championing the effort with their Summer Reading Kick-off from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The free event will feature games, crafts, and other activities planned for children and families. Joining in the festivities will be characters from Marvel and Star Wars, said Michelle Coxford, the regional children’s librarian for the Turlock branch.

“It’s a fun way to get the whole family on board with reading,” Coxford said. “We want the children to participate in some way, whether it’s reading on their own or having someone read to them. We want to promote continued reading through the summer and avoid that summer slide.”

The “summer slide” refers to the tendency for children, especially younger children to fall back on their reading skills over the summer because they are not routinely reading books like they are in school. According to the California Library Association the absence of summer learning can erase the gains made during the school year and will continue to do so over the years. One study found that by the end of 6th grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates.

“The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap,” from 2010, found that students who participated in a summer reading program had better reading skills at the end of third grade and scored higher on standardized tests than students who did not participate. Other studies found that socio-economic factors can expand the summer slide because not all children have the same access to reading materials. The studies found that access to public libraries can make the difference for the students experiencing either a summer setback or set them up for success for the next school year.

The Stanislaus County Library system’s Summer Reading Challenge has categories for children, tweens and teens, and adults. The Challenge guidelines are as follows:

Children 0 - 8

Kids from birth through age 8 can get a reading log at any Stanislaus County Library branch.Use the reading log to keep track of every DAY that they spend at least 30 minutes reading, or having someone read to them.After 7 days of reading, kids can bring their reading log (signed by a parent) back to the library to collect a prize.Earn badges for attending events at the library, reading books, or completing activities at

Tweens and Teens 9 - 18

Kids from ages 9 through 18 can get a reading log at any Stanislaus County Library branch or enter online at the reading log to keep track of every hour that you spend reading.After 7 days of reading, bring your reading log back to the library and you will be entered into a drawing for some great prizes.Finish the log and get an extra chance to win.There is no limit on how many times you can enter.

Last day to pick up a reading log is Tuesday, August 1.

Last day to pick up prizes is August 8.


Read or listen to a book.Fill out a review sheet and return to any Stanislaus County Library branch or enter online at review is an entry into a drawing for a quilt, a fitbit, and other fantastic prizes.Reading to kids? Listening to audiobooks? Fill out a review and enter.The more books you read the better your chance to win.

·         Last day to pick up weekly prizes is August 15.