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A child’s reading and language skills carry him or her for the rest of their lives. Their importance in the educational success of students can’t be overstated.

Venise Campanella, the children’s librarian at the Richmond Memorial Library, says the summer reading program for children reiterates and maintains those reading skills that they work so hard to obtain throughout the school year so they don’t regress.

“Having the summer reading club allows them to come in and kind of have fun with all the different programs, the prizes, and all the different decorations and stuff that we do here at the library and not focus on the academic aspect of reading and writing as much; but that’s definitely our goal: to help maintain those skills," she said.

“Dig Into Reading” is the library’s summer reading program for children from birth through those entering grade 6. They must record 500 minutes of reading to receive a prize. Those age 5 and younger get to interact with their parents to complete 20 fun early learning literacy activities.

Campanella says developing a love of reading at an early age is important, and not just for school-related reasons.

“It’s not even just the academic aspect of it,” Campanella said. “It’s the enjoyment and stimulating the imagination. For the children who aren’t reading yet, it’s that quality time with their parents, and for the children who are reading on their own, it’s an accomplishment for them. It does build confidence.”

There are also summer reading programs for teenagers and adults. See the library for more details.
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