Mesa Public Library launches 2021 summer reading program

The Mesa Public Library is launching their summer reading program from June 1 to August 1.

Brenna Klassen, programming librarian at Dobson Ranch, says the program requires participants to read 20 minutes a day. Beyond prizes and fun, there's an important lesson to be had for children who participate in the program.

"It's super important to keep reading over the summer," said Klassen. "We do it not only to foster…reading for pleasure, but also to build home libraries. You get that free book at the end, it helps build those early literacy skills under 5 who may not be reading yet on their own."

The librarian said it also helps prevent the "summer slide" - a loss in reading comprehension skills in kids when they stop reading books over the summer.

"If they're reading over the summer, they stay ready for the next grade," Klassen said.

One parent says the program helps motivate her son to read without having to remind him.

"The great thing is he's able to log in, he has his own avatar, he can charge all his points," one mother said. "Something extra to remind him…to read today instead of me just saying, ‘Let's read a book.' "

Studies have shown that students who participate in a summer reading program have better reading skills at the end of the third grade and score higher on standardized tests than students who do not participate.

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