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Exercise your mind this summer at the West Linn Public Library 

Our annual summer reading program kicked off June 10, with the slogan, “On Your Mark, Get Set ... READ!”  Participation consists of tracking time read over the summer along with exciting events and cool incentives. The Kid’s Summer Reading Program runs through Aug. 31 and is open to children ages birth to fifth grade.

To sign up, simply visit the library to pick up your reading packet. Each packet includes a reading log, calendar of events and various tickets from our sponsors. You can also register online and pick up your packet next time you visit the library.

Once you join, you have all summer to read, or be read to, for at least 20 minutes a day for 25 days. You can read at the library, at home, while on vacation, on the beach, anywhere! Once your reading log is completed, return it to the library to pick up additional incentives and enter grand prize raffles.

This program reinforces consistent reading habits while school is out to combat the “summer slide,” or literacy loss, experienced over this long break. Recent research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that the most effective strategy to prevent the loss of reading skills is to allow children to select their own reading materials. We couldn’t agree more, which is why our program allows participants to do just that. And of course, if you need help finding just the right book, we’ll be happy to share our favorite titles, sports related or otherwise.

As part of the Summer Reading program, we’re offering a variety of special events for children. These take place on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. beginning June 21. The schedule includes Presto the Magician on June 21; Mad Science Olympics on June 28; Creature Feature on July 5; Oregon Bird Man on July 12; Premier Martial Arts on July 19; Dragon Puppet Theater on July 26; Subzero Ice Cream will present Science in a Scoop on Aug. 2 and the West Linn Historical Society will present History is Child’s Play on Aug. 9.

For the youngest readers, Summer Storytimes will run from June 28-Aug. 18.  Book Babies, for children from birth-18 months, is held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday; Toddler Storytime, for children ages 18-36 months, is held at 10 a.m. Thursday and Preschool Storytime for those ages 3-5 is held at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The library also offers reading programs for teens and adults throughout the summer. Sign up the entire family to join the summer reading fun! Stop by or visit westlinnlibrary.org for more information and full schedules for all ages.

Sarah Flathman is the children’s librarian at the West Linn Public Library.