Before I started working at the library I was a school teacher for 18 years. At the beginning of each school year I would spend  4-6 weeks assessing and often reteaching material that was covered the year before. This year parents and educators are especially concerned about lost academic gains due to the extended quarantine at the end of school. 

Good news! There are ways to help prepare your child for the coming school year and it only takes 2-3 hours a WEEK! 

  1. READ!!!!!!! That’s it. Super simple. Reading for 20-30 minutes a day helps language skills, promotes brain development, helps comprehension, increases vocabulary and opens up new experiences and possibilities. Our library holds more than 24,000 books and other materials for children of all ages. Join the Summer Reading Program (there is still a month left!) to earn great prizes and encourage reluctant readers. Ask a librarian for book recommendations or check out NovaList for book suggestions. 
  1. Writing.  Have your child write cards or send emails to friends and family, keep a journal of summer activities, or make lists of what to do during the week. There are two writing activities that your child can do to earn tickets in the Summer Reading Program. One activity is to keep a nature journal. Use a combination of writing, collecting and drawing to keep track of interesting items found in nature. The other activity is a writing contest. When you sign up for Summer Reading on Beanstack there are several writing prompts to get your child started writing their own imaginative story. Also, we have moved the activity kits to the first floor and many of the kits can help with spelling and vocabulary practice.
  1. Practice Math skills. This can be done in everyday ways like cooking (we have a lot of GREAT recipe books for kids at the library), adding or multiplying license plate numbers, playing with coins or checking out some flash cards or math activity kits at the library. There are kits to help learners of all ages.

4. Learn something new. Research a place that you have always wanted to visit. Check out a telescope from the library and go star gazing. Go on a scavenger hunt (There are several in the Summer Reading Program). Learn about circuits or molecules with activity kits from the library. Go fishing (you can check out fishing poles from the library!) Learning new skills exercises your child’s brain, encourages creativity and prepares

5. READ!!!!! Did I say read already? Yes? Well that’s how important it is.

The O’Fallon Public Library has so many ways to help children maintain and even improve their academic potential and love for learning over the summer. Come check out what we have to offer!!!!

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