Summer reading program kicks off |

Summer reading program kicks off

Librarian encourages students to improve skills at South Routt libraries

What: "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales" summer reading and art program Where: Oak Creek Public Library and Yampa Public Library When: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Yampa Public Library; and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Oak Creek Public Library. The program ends July 27. Cost: $10 registration fee per child Call: Oak Creek Public Library at 736-8371 or Yampa Public Library at 638-4654

What: "Joust Read at Your Library" teen summer reading program When: Through Aug. 17 Where: Oak Creek and Yampa libraries Cost: Free Call: Oak Creek Public Library at 736-8371 or Yampa Public Library at 638-4654 for meeting times and dates

— Kellen Garrity, 9, is excited to spend the summer reading her favorite adventure books and participating in the Oak Creek Library’s summer reading program.

“My goal is just to read and have fun,” she said Thursday while making a bookmark. “I like everything we do here.”

Those sentiments are music to the ears of librarian and art teacher Karen Bertollini, especially because summer reading is an activity most elementary, middle school and high school students don’t value.

“We encourage summer reading to help the students carry over their reading skills from year to year,” she said.

Bertollini and her husband, South Routt library director Barry Bertollini, began the summer reading programs at the Oak Creek and Yampa public libraries last week and hope to attract more students as the weeks pass.

“It’s not too late to register. Just come on down to the library,” she said. “We’d love to see more kids take a part of the program. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

The “Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales” summer reading program is for students in grades one through six and focuses on animals and animal-based art projects and books.

“Throughout July we’ll be having some special and interesting visitors and a lot of animal projects,” Karen said.

On the last day of the reading program, the students will head to Stagecoach State Park for a day of swimming, picnicking and exploring.

Karen said about eight students registered for the Oak Creek reading program, although she hopes more attend in the future.

“I think kids are so used to playing video games that you don’t hardly see them outside anymore, much less reading,” she said.

Much of the program focuses on reading at home and then spending time at the library discussing books, playing educational games and engaging in “friendly” competition for prizes, Karen said.

“The hope is that they’ll get so wrapped up in the reading by the end of July that they’ll continue to read until school starts,” she said.

The youngsters who attended the first few programs seem to be excited about it, Karen said.

“The kids that are here are really into it. They’re readers, so they love to be here reading,” she said.

Krysten Zywicki, a recent Soroco High School graduate and part-time library assistant, said she likes working with the program because she wants to help encourage younger generations to love reading as much as she does.

“I see the kids making connections, and I think they’re doing really well,” she said. “I hope from this they’ll learn to pick more books up over the summer.

“This is a really good program. It keeps everyone reading, and their skills intact.”

— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail

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