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Libraries Rock! Summer Reading program has kicked off

May 31, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Libraries Rock! summer reading program kicked off earlier this week with the Lee County Library System.

Youth Services Coordinator Amy Jane McWilliam said the theme Libraries Rock! has incorporated a little bit of a music twist into the programming, which also focuses on the wonderful things the library does for the community.

"We want to promote and encourage the love of reading. During the school year children are tired and the library tends to compete with other activities, like sports. It's hard to capture the interest of kids because they are so overwhelmed with everything going on," she said. "During the summer parents are more relaxed. This is the opportunity that we can get them. They are reading for just the enjoyment of it."

The summer reading program is also important because it prevents the "summer slide."

"Children that don't read through the summer actually go back to school and score lower on tests," McWilliam said, adding that they lose some academic achievements they made the previous year.

The summer reading program kicked off May 29 and will run through Aug. 11 featuring weekly programs to grab the youngsters curiosity.

"Each week there will be special events at all the libraries," McWilliam said, adding that there will be book displays tied into those special events.

Although all of the programs are free, some require registration, which opens a week prior to the program. Individuals can register online, call the library branch, or visit the library.

McWilliam said the cool thing about Cape Coral is the city has two libraries, Northwest Regional Library and Cape Coral Lee County Public Library. She said the libraries offer different programs, as well as different times, so the working parents and the children in summer camp can attend.

The Cape Coral Lee County Public Library features Drumming with Ndakthe at 2 p.m. Monday, June 11, John Storms: World of Reptiles at 2 p.m. Monday, June 18 and Dance to the Rhythm at 2 p.m. Monday, June 25. All of these programs are geared for kindergarten through fifth grade students.

McWilliam said Ndakthe is an African drummer from Pine Island who will provide a presentation, followed by some time for the children to play the drums and practice with her.

Drumming with Ndakthe is also offered at Northwest Regional Library at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, for kindergarten through fifth grade students.

The popular program with John Storms is one that sparks the youngsters' curiosity as he brings in lizards, snakes and alligators - only for the children to look at and not touch.

"He talks about their habitat and what they eat. It's a lot of fun and high energy," she said.

The Dance to the Rhythm is a dance program offered with the Lee Health System that will keep youngsters moving while exercising.

Other programs include magic, science, storytelling an a special 20th anniversary Harry Potter event.

One of the events at Northwest Regional Library will show the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" at 2 p.m. Monday, June 11.

The summer reading program also features activities for teenagers, one of which is "Totally Radical 80s Time Travel Adventure," at Northwest Regional Library. The program, for grades sixth, through 12th, will take them back to 1986 where they are finding cutting edge technology from the 1980s to get them back to present day.

Another program, "Juggling Workshop for Teens" offered at Northwest Regional Library will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 26. The program will feature professional juggler Gerard Tricarico, who will demonstrate his juggling capabilities, while teaching a few tricks to the audience.

There are also teen programs at the Cape Coral Lee County Public Library. One of which is Japanese Culture Day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Sixth through 12th grade students will enjoy Japanese snacks while creating anime and Pokemon crafts.

"We do put a lot of focus and effort into our k-12 programs," McWilliam said.

Both libraries also feature baby rhyme time and family storytime to engage those 0 to 5 years old.

"We get a lot of teachers that bring their babies over the summer," McWilliam said.

The summer reading programs are important McWilliam said because they want youngsters to enjoy reading and become lifelong learners.

"That doesn't sound very thrilling to the kids. That's why we offer the events," she said.

In addition to the six weeks of programming, McWilliam encourages everyone to visit their library and receive a free book while supplies last through Aug. 11. She said they have books for ages 0 to 18 years old . . . board books, picture books, early readers, novels, graphic novels and sci-fi graphics.

"We've been getting a lot of good feedback. We are really happy," McWilliam said about the selection of books staff took time creating.

Due to grant money, she said they were able to receive special pricing, giving them the opportunity to purchase tons of books. The books purchased are ones, she said that will "light up their faces."

"When kids sign up they can pick up a book and keep it forever," McWilliam said.

She said they have met a lot of families who share that they travel throughout the summer.

"They will have at least one book with them," McWilliam said.

There is also an adult component for the summer reading program, a Summer Reading Bingo that will help adults discover the different services and genres offered throughout the library. Folks 18 and older will receive a bingo card. Once the bingo card is completed they will be entered into a branch and systemwide drawing to win prizes.

To view a complete list of programs, visit

An estimated 10,000 children participate in the summer reading program every year.



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