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Books and bubbles

Library staff joins LO youngsters in Rossman Park for a celebration of summer reading

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Landon (from left), Grayson, Braxton and Estelle Ellis pick out new books last week after reading more than 500 minutes each in the Lake Oswego Public Library's summer reading program. REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Six-year-old Logan Benson gets his face painted at last week's party, which featured games, giveaways and lots of other fun activities. For the more than 400 youngsters who completed the Lake Oswego Public Library’s summer reading program, last week’s gathering in Rossman Park was a time to celebrate.

There were games and giveaways, a scavenger hunt, a performance by a touring group of border collies and lots and lots of bubbles.

“It doesn’t get any better than bubbles in the park,” says Andrea Milano, the library’s director of youth services, who thought the children’s summer accomplishments were worthy of a party. “Altogether, these kids accumulated 190,750

minutes of reading over 132 days.”

The purpose of the library’s summer reading program is to prevent a “summer slide,” when kids’ literacy skills fall off during their months away from school. For 8-year-old Claire, that meant reading her first Nancy Drew book (and a vow to read the dozens of other titles in the series over the coming years).

Three-year-old Gavin didn’t actually read anything, but his parents read to him — and that was good enough to earn a balloon sword that he waved with great enthusiasm.

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Henry Woodruff (from left), Thayer Woodruff, Michelle Hayworth and Theo Hayworth check out their new books at the end-of-summer party in Rossman Park. “We’re reaching out to pre-readers,” Milano says, repeating a goal to create readers at the earliest possible age that she’s had since coming to Lake Oswego. Parents can even bring babies to the library for fun activities associated with reading, and there’s an online blog, too — at ci.oswego.or.us/eln — with suggestions for preschoolers and toddlers and a list of regularly scheduled storytimes.

“We’re giving them the motivation to be readers,” Milano says.

At last week’s end-of-summer party, that motivation included free books, Milano says, “and the kids think it’s fantastic.” The most popular titles at the party included “Smile,” by Raina Telgemeier; youth sports books by Mike Lupica; and what may be the most irresistible title in literature, “Surrounded by Sharks,” by Michael Northrup.

It was the library’s second summer reading party, and Milano says that “we learned a few things from last year. We have more diversity of games this time, and the park is a lot better place to hold a scavenger hunt than the library.”

Now Milano wants younger readers to keep up the good work by participating in other programs offered by the library. To find out more, go to ci.oswego.or.us/library.

The summer reading program and party were made possible by a grant from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Becket Loprinzi, 5, takes a run through the colorful obstacle course set up in Rossman Park.

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Aliya Divergilio shows her skills with the hula hoop at last week's end-of-summer party.