Media Release Template

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For Immediate Release
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Fun, Fabulous and Free! Library Summer Reading Program Offers Educational Edge to Kids of All Ages

DATE – CITY, N.Y., A major concern for many parents over the two-and-a-half month period between June and August is what to do with their children once school is out. Now, thanks to a program at the _____________ library, there is an exciting option available that combines both fun and education to help keep young people reading and learning over the summer.

Libraries are environments where great books excite, enlighten and entertain people of all ages. And in times of economic downturn, library usage goes up. With an increased emphasis on literacy in New York state’s curriculum, public libraries are proactively partnering nation-wide to find new ways to help students stay ahead of the literacy curve.

This has certainly been the case in New York, where more than 1,100 public libraries now participate in the annual “Summer Reading at New York Libraries”. The summer reading program for kids and teens had record-breaking numbers of participants in 2009. So far the numbers for 2010 show a similar trend of increased library usage, with over 1.5 million school-age children reaping the benefits of this valuable reading program.

“Make a Splash—Read” is the theme of this summer at the _______________ Public Library. Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education for the New York State, Jeffrey W. Cannell said that the Summer Reading at New York Libraries program offers ways for youngsters of all ages to “make waves” this summer at their local libraries.

“Summer Reading at New York Libraries gives teachers and parents a proven learning tool that engages and excites youngsters as it raises literacy levels,” Steiner said. “This is a critically important experience that keeps children learning—and engaged in the wonderful act of reading—even when the school year is over.”

Researchers point to the impact library media programs have on academic achievement among school students. Studies that compare results on reading comprehension and vocabulary show an increase in those students who participated in summer reading programs and a decrease in those who did not. In a 2009 study published by Stephen Krashen, evidence suggests that students’ who read more, read better; they also write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions.

While the program varies from library to library, the fundamental results are mostly measured in number of books read or time spent reading. Similarly, individual libraries offer their own performances and programs to add to the fun of summer reading and encourage visits to the public library. For example, elementary school children have access to a variety of games, puzzles and scavenger hunts along with audio and visual resources, while pre-teens and teens have age-appropriate programing that taps into their favorite celebrity, music and fashion passions.

There are various resources that can be accessed by librarians, parents, educators, kids and teens, and can be found at the program’s web site, http://www.summerreadingnys.org. Visitors can access promotional flyers, fact sheets, tip sheets, recommended web site links, book lists and reading-related puzzles, games and activities.

The Empire State partners with 48 other states as part of the national Collaborative Summer Library Program to share best practices and ideas for program goals, activities and themes. Summer Reading at New York Libraries Program is a program of the New York State Library in the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department and is funded through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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