May 23rd, 2016

Summer Reading for Teens

girl-869213_1280You may have heard the term “summer slide,” which sounds like a pleasant family fun activity, but it actually refers to the tendency for students who don’t actively engage in educational opportunities to lose the knowledge and learning they gained during the school year.

But don’t worry, one of the easiest ways to reverse “slide” it is simply by reading throughout the summer. Our Summer Reading Program is almost here, which means we’ll be spending the next several months promoting reading and giving out prizes to those who complete a Summer Reading log. And teens have their very own program! We define “teens” as any child entering 6th – 12th grade. So if your child falls within that range, they can sign up for the Summer Reading Program, read 6 hours, and become entered into win cool prizes. And the best part, they can complete as many logs as they want throughout the summer!

We also have thousands of items available digitally, from ebooks and digital magazines to e-audiobooks, movies and music. All you need is your library card, PIN and access to the internet. While students have reading assignments during the school year – the summer can be all about what’s most interesting to them. Sports, zombies, pop stars – if your teen is reading books, magazines or graphic novels, they are engaging their minds and beating summer slide.

Did you know listening to audiobooks is a valuable reading tool? 85% of learning comes from listening and 30% of people are auditory learners. Listening to books exposes students to pronunciation of English, dialects and non-English words, expands vocabulary and can be combined with a physical book to guide struggling readers through the story. Audiobook narrators are actors who create compelling voices to make the stories come alive, thus improving attention spans.

AudiobookSYNC is a free program, available to all teens for 15 weeks, with a total of 30 teen-friendly audiobooks to download and keep. Many of the titles have curricular connections; all have high recommendations from both professional reviewers and casual audiobook listeners. You can even sign up for text alerts: text SYNCYA to 25827

Research has shown that freedom of choice in reading materials is a clear indicator in summer reading success. If your teen is picking out what she wants to read and listen to, she’s more likely to finish the books and keep reading all summer long.

Not sure what to suggest to your teen to read? Here’s a list of award-winning titles for teens, as well as a website dedicated to developing boys’ love of reading.

And our summer reading program has plenty of events for teens to hang out with other teens and explore topics from science experiments and games, to upcycling and art projects.

Our summer reading program begins June 1 – to register, go to http://www.cecil.ebranch.info/teens/summer-reading/.


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April 25th, 2016

Spring Cleaning

putz-bucket-1290951_640Spring is finally here and my house is a mess! I’ll share a secret – I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning — the warm weather inspires me to clean, but the lovely long afternoons of sun highlight the dust all over my house. Exasperated, I’ll go outdoors and save cleaning for another day.

Thankfully, the library has many resources for organizing and cleaning that can help you get on track before the warm weather officially hits. One of my new favorites is The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley. If you were one of the many people who loved the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, you will be happy to know she recently released another! It is called Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. I can’t wait to give that one a try. If you like Pinterest, CCPL has a great page with many boards of helpful resources – even one specifically about paper clutter.

As far as helpful cleaning tips, I will share my go-to strategy: don’t do it all at once. When I try to deep clean everything, I end up distracted and never finish! When I do a room at a time, over the course of a week or two, I find that everything is cleaner and I enjoy it so much more. I also listen to audiobooks while I clean and that makes the time fly by! The library has many audiobooks that you could checkout either in a branch, or online, that will make your spring cleaning seem like less of a chore and more fun! If you haven’t tried downloading from Hoopla (a digital service available through our website), give it a try – everything is available immediately, with no wait times. Good luck cleaning!

What’s your best spring cleaning tip?


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