Poughkeepsie… Today at the Violet Road Elementary School in Hyde Park, Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus read I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Tracks by Joshua Prince to more than 300 students to encourage them to “Catch the Reading Bug” and join children across Dutchess County to meet the goal of reading 50,000 books this summer as part of the County Executive’s Summer Reading Challenge.
“Catch the Reading Bug” is the theme of this year’s nationwide summer reading program. To encourage youngsters and parents to sign-up for the County Executive’s Summer Reading Challenge for 2008, librarians have great summer programs filled with fun activities, games, prizes and more. Each child who achieves his or her reading goal will receive a Certificate of Recognition from Dutchess County Executive Steinhaus.
“Reading helps expand your imagination and opens your mind to new ideas and possiblities,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Read aloud to your parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters to share the joy of a good story,” he told the students.
Dutchess County Government provides nearly $250,000 in annual funding to the Mid-Hudson Library System which represents the 22 Public and Association libraries in Dutchess County. County funding helps local libraries to provide online databases, reference support and high-speed Internet access.
Over $109,000 in funding is allocated for the County Executive’s Summer Reading Challenge to support libraries’ summer reading programs and encourage young patrons to continue reading and learning over the summer vacation from school. County Executive Steinhaus said, “We know participation in summer reading programs enhances academic performance in school, but there are other added benefits as well. Visiting your local library is a great family activity and introduces children to a diversity of cultural and education programs to expand their sense of community.”
Studies show significant learning losses occur over the summer when children don’t read. Reading as a leisure activity is a powerful tool to increase reading comprehension, speed and vocabulary. Summer reading programs help children maintain and improve reading levels over the summer while they challenge their imaginations, enjoy reading-related activities, safely use the Internet, create craft projects and interact with friends
“Visit your library and join in our Summer Reading Challenge. Make reading part of the fun of summertime and students will be off to a great start when school returns in the fall,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
For additional information about summer reading programs, contact your local library. For a complete listing of Dutchess County libraries, visit http://www.dutchessny.gov/, click on "Community" and then choose "Libraries".