News: Don’t let a child's knowledge get set back, crack open a paperback
Story by Pfc. David Walters
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Children along with their parents participated in a scavenger hunt as a part of the summer reading program, Have Book – Will Travel, inside the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Library July 17, 2013.
The purpose of the summer reading program is to help children continue reading and increase their knowledge through the summer, while they are between grades.
Stacey Kobe-Bellika, the station library supervisory librarian, organized the summer reading program and events.
“When kids don’t read during the summer, they experience what we call a ‘summer reading slide,’ and they basically forget everything they learned,” said Kobe-Bellika. “If they don’t practice reading over the summer, they are going to enter the next grade lower than when they left the previous grade. We want to keep them reading so they are prepared for the next school year.”
The age groups for the summer reading program are: babies, preschool, teen and adults.
For babies and preschool, they earn rewards for books they read or their parents read to them up to a maximum of 10 books.
Teens earn a reward for every six hours they read, up to a maximum of 24 hours, and adults receive a reward for every book they read and complete a book review, up to a maximum of four books.
Claudia Donahue, assistant librarian manager at the station library, said she enjoys working with kids to help them read and stay focused during the summer.
“I know what it did to me as a child not being a good reader and not reading during the summer,” said Donahue. “It keeps the children at a good reading level so they don’t have trouble in school.”
The scavenger hunt consisted of three difficulties: easy, medium and hard.
For the babies and preschool children, if they did not want to participate in the scavenger hunt, there was a card matching game to play where they received a star sticker for matching the correct card.
Kobe-Bellika said she sees a significant improvement from beginning to end of the summer reading program.
“I think, if we talked to the teachers, they would be able to tell who was reading over the summer and who wasn’t,” said Kobe-Bellika with a chuckle.
The summer reading program is scheduled to continue to Aug. 7, 2013. The station library hosts events every Wednesday for the summer reading program, Have Book – Will Travel, to help children of the base stay involved with reading.