May 13th, 2014

Summer Reading, Summer Learning!


10-9-8…Whether it’s counting down the minutes on December 31st to a brand new year, or counting down the days to a long awaited vacation, everyone loves a countdown because it means something great is on the way.  Never has this been more true than right now as we count down to the start of this year’s summer reading and learning program, “Fizz, Boom, Read” at the Cecil County Public Library.

This year’s summer reading program will kick-off May 31st when our branches will invite readers of all ages to register for this year’s summer reading program and participate in an array of exciting activities.  Be sure to check with your local branch for details of what promises to be an exciting day!

Planning for summer learning is just as important as planning for fun in the sun.  Recent studies show that children who participate in educational activities over the summer are less likely to lose educational ground.  Fortunately, providing your child with opportunities to continue learning over the summer has never been easier; here are just a few ideas to get you started and guaranteed to keep you busy all summer long.

1. Visit the local library and sign up for summer reading! It’s the perfect place to start when looking for ways to keep your child engaged in learning all summer long.

Brother Reading a BookResponding to your child’s interests over the summer is essential to keeping them motivated, and what better way to do that than by bringing them to the library? Whether it’s exploring the arts with Creative Experiments in Art, diving into STEM programs with Fun with Physics, Magnetic Attraction, and Your Amazing Body, or investigating our 3-D Printing Lab Friday, May 30th from 3:30 to 6:30pm, our programs offer something for everyone.  Click here to see details on our Summer Reading events for kids.

And, don’t forget the books. Want to learn to knit?  We have a book for that.  Want to explore the mysteries of space?  We have a book for that.  Want to learn to draw?  We have a book for that.  Want a recipe for healthy snacks?  We have a book for that, too.  No matter where your child’s interests lie, our librarians are delighted to locate books and resources that stimulate their desire to learn more. Self-directed learning is a very powerful way for kids to grow their skills while having fun.  Plus, when you register your kids and teens (and yourself) for our summer reading programs, you can get rewards and chances to win prizes!

2.  Seek out all that our local community has to offer.

Dad with little son walking outdoors at ocaenGo down on the farm to Walnut Springs Farm and make your way through a labyrinth of agriculturallybased interactive learning stations; travel back in time with a trip to Mt. Harmon Plantation and learn about days gone by as you tour an 18th century manor house; visit Elk Neck State Park and hike out to the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse; or explore Plumpton Park Zoo to observe and learn about the many different animals who are living there. No matter which path you choose, learning is sure to follow.  And, remember, this is but a few of the many local offerings to be found in Cecil County.

3.  Take advantage of the learning that can take place without even leaving your home or neighborhood.

In the house…
•    Girl And Mother With CookiesTry a new recipe and give your child the opportunity to practice math skills by weighing and measuring ingredients.
•    Get creative and make up a new recipe.  Write it down and share it with others.
•    Go on a scavenger hunt to find patterns, letters, and numbers around the house.
•    Make a map of a room in the house.
•    Write a story, draw a picture, compose a poem.  Plan a special night where everyone in the family shares their creative side.
•    Our Pinterest Page is full of ideas for fun learning crafts and activities, as well as reading suggestions.

In the yard…
•    Sit quietly and use your senses to explore the world around you.  Make a list of things seen and heard, create a graph, draw a picture, or write a creative story.
•    Go on a scavenger hunt.
•    Use a guidebook to identify the plants, flowers, and insects found around the house.
•    Learn a new game and teach it to friends, family, and neighbors.

In the neighborhood…
•    Take a walk and count the number of blue cars, or windows on houses, or children playing outside.
•    Use sidewalk chalk or wet sponges to practice writing letters and numbers or to practice spelling new words.

These are just a few ideas that will keep your child engaged in learning activities this summer.  Click here for another post with even more ideas for fun things to do in Cecil County. What are your favorite ideas for keeping your child involved in learning all summer long?

September 19th, 2013

Summer Reading Cup Challenge Winners

SR cup challenge winners 2013Though the leaves are beginning to change and the chill of fall is most definitely in the air, summer, and more specifically, summer reading, was on the minds of students and faculty members at Kenmore Elementary and Conowingo Elementary who were recently presented with one of this year’s two APGFCU Summer Reading Cup Challenge trophies.

2,160 elementary school students from the Cecil County Public Schools registered for this year’s Dig Into Reading summer reading program at the Cecil County Public Library, and 28% of them finished the program by reading for at least 4 hours over the summer.  The students at Kenmore Elementary, however, went above and beyond with 35.6% of their students finishing this year’s program, making them the 2013 Winner of the APGFCU Summer Reading Cup Challenge, an award that recognizes the school with the highest percentage of students who complete the summer reading program at the Cecil County Public Library.  As the winner of this year’s award, the school received a $500 check from APGFCU for their media center, a trophy, and Mister Softee ice cream.

The students from Kenmore Elementary weren’t the only ones celebrating, as Conowingo Elementary, with a 33.9% completion rate, won this year’s Most Improved Award for increasing their rate of completion from 17.05% last year – the largest increase for all county elementary schools.  For their hard work and dedication to reading over the summer, they received a $250 check, also from APGFCU, for their media center, a trophy, and a snack bag of cookies following their Good News Assembly.

Cecil County Public Library and APGFCU are proud of the accomplishments of the students and faculty at Kenmore Elementary and Conowingo Elementary and are eagerly looking forward to next summer’s Fizz, Boom, Read! program when we will crown another Summer Reading Cup Challenge winner.

Will it be your school?

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