The James V. Brown Library has the books available to spark an interest in readers with its summer reading program that begins in June.
This year's theme - "Fizz, Boom, READ!" - celebrates science and technology and will include performances by musicians, magicians and visits by the Franklin Institute of Science. Every library in Lycoming County also will host a geoscience program with field paleontologists.
Research shows that reading achievement declines during the months of June through September, when students are on summer break. The "summer slide" can quickly compound when children reach middle school. Participating in a library summer reading program is one way to combat this. The Summer Reading Program is available to children, teens and adults in Lycoming County.
The impact of summer reading is crucial to local students. Nina White, the library's youth services coordinator, cited a Pennsylvania System of School Assessment report from 2011-12, which found that 22 percent of third graders in the Williamsport Area School District are below basic reading levels.
To accurately address the achievement gap, White said it is important to put books in the hands of children.
"Providing access to quality books and reading to children on a daily basis is a low-cost intervention offered by the library," White said.
Benefits of participating in a summer reading program include: children receive encouragement that reading will become a lifelong habit, reluctant readers are enticed to read for pleasure through activities and prizes and an interest in the library and books is generated.
"What's unique about the Brown Library's Summer Reading Program is that it is completely funded by donations," said Robin Glossner, library development director. "Last year, the library had more than 2,300 summer readers, offered 253 programs attended by hundreds of people and gave away more than 800 books to build home libraries for kids who need them. The library helped champion the love of reading for children and allowed them to return to school ready to read and learn."
Glossner added each gift to adopt a summer reader will provide programming, support and motivation for one child. To donate, visit www.jvbrown.edu.
A complete list of all of the library's summer reading programs will be available at the end of May on the library's website and also will be published in a free special Summer Reading Section in the Sun-Gazette on Thursday.
The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.