WASHINGTON -- Registration has started for a shared summer reading program that will reach military families on bases around the globe. Readers of all ages can get into the swing of things with music-related events, prizes and book choices around the theme "Read to the Rhythm." Most reading programs will run six to eight weeks with open enrollment during the summer.
"Music, movement, and books are a natural fit and complement each other for short-term fun and long-term benefits," Nilya Carrato, Program Assistant, Navy General Library Program, said. "I hope our families will be 'jazzed' to top last year's reading record of 18.6 million minutes spent reading and join our global community of readers and library users."
Decades of research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Library summer reading programs can help to offset this loss because studies also indicate students who read recreationally out-perform those who don't. Students read more when they can choose materials based on their own interests.
Without summer reading intervention, the National Summer Learning Association reports it's common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.
"This year's theme also brings in the added dimension of musical activity, which can stimulate the brain for better focus, concentration, and memory all the way through older adulthood," Carrato added. In addition to a full orchestra of reading options, libraries will host activities for all ages ranging from "Hip Cat" storytime to karaoke to slam poetry.
Sponsored by the Department of Defense with program content developed by iREAD, "Read to the Rhythm" will reach thousands of families. Resource guides and musical-themed materials and activities to support the initiative were developed by librarians for librarians to motivate children to read. This year marks the sixth in which nearly 200 base and installation libraries will participate in the summer reading program.