Judging by the bevy of kids and scarcity of parking spaces, County libraries seem to be the places to be in the summer.
Many of the children and their parents are drawn to programs such as “Reptiles Alive!” “Animals Dig It” or “Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration,” but many others show up just for the books and the fun of being at the library.
Angela Cronan said she visits Chinn Park Regional Library all summer to get her daughters out of the house. “I like it because it’s free and it’s not electronic and it gets my kids doing stuff that’s that’s important,” said Cronan, a nurse who lives with her family in Montclair. “It gets them interested in
reptiles and other things they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to see – D.C. might have traffic and this is right here in your community.”
“I like how I can come to the library and get my books and see the programs, and while I’m at the program, my mom can go look at her books,” the 10-year-old Abby said.
Lynne Hobbs, the Children’s Librarian at Potomac Community Library, said the programs, such as story time, crafts, movies and performers help bring the children to the libraries where they are encouraged to read during Summer Quest.
Summer Quest is a program to keep kids reading over the summer. And this is extremely important to for kids' continued learning and school performance. “There’s something called the ‘summer slide’ that occurs when children do not read from the time they get out of school in the summer until they start school again in the fall. They generally lose about two or three months of reading skills,” Hobbs said. “If they read, they stay on the same level or they gain a little bit and they’re more ready for the next grade level when they get there.”
Young readers can earn rewards from sponsors across the county by reading books under the Summer Quest Program with this year’s theme of “Dig Into Reading.” Hobbs went on to say that Potomac Library alone will have 60 programs in nine weeks and that other libraries across the county will offer similar programs.
“Bull Run and Chinn Park are having more because they’re our regional [libraries],” she said. “Even some of our small, neighborhood libraries have story times and programs during the summer.”
For more information, visit the prince William Public Library System website at www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/library/Pages/default.aspx.