Summer Reading Program for Children and Teens

   Keep the pages turning and the children learning this summer with Tulsa City-County Library’s annual children’s and teen summer reading programs.

   Since 1982, the annual program has inspired children and teens to continue reading, learning and exploring.  More than 45,000 children and teens participated in the 2012 summer reading program, and they read more than 390,000 books during the summer.

   The 2013 summer reading program theme for children is “Dig into Reading” and the tween/teen theme is “Beneath the Surface.”

   To participate, children and teens, ages 0 to 18, can visit any library can pick up a summer reading program log.  The reading log is used to record the number of books read and visits made to the library throughout the summer.  Children complete the program by making four visits to the library and reading eight books before Aug. 3.  They will earn a special medal of achievement and a coupon booklet for free entertainment and food items, and entry into a grand prize drawing for exciting prizes.  Those reading 20 books will receive a bonus prize, a plush prairie dog.

   Tweens and teens complete the program by reading six books before Aug. 3.  By completing the program, tweens/teens will earn a keepsake safe and coupons for free entertainment and food items.  Bonus prizes and coupon booklets for children’s and teen programs are awarded starting June 17.

   Families can pick up a special event guide with all of the free programs planned for children and teens this summer.  Performers and presenters from all over Tulsa County, Oklahoma and the nation are featured.  Hundreds of free events for all ages are planned throughout the summer.  Families can choose from magic shows, Lego competitions, music performances, storytimes, origami workshops and more.

   “Studies have shown that children who do not read in the summer experience a ‘summer slide,’ losing some of the reading comprehension skills they acquired during the school year,” said Lenore St. John, TCCL children’s services coordinator.  “Reading in the summer is a great way to help prevent this.  It also allows children and teens a much needed opportunity to explore different types of literature and read what they like.”

   The summer reading program culminates with the Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature.  The 2013 recipient is Jim Murphy, author of more than 30 nonfiction books for children and young adults.  He will accept the award Aug. 23, 7 p.m. at Gilcrease Museum, 1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road.  Murphy also will present awards at the Young People’s Creative Writing Contest Award ceremony, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. at Hardesty Regional Library’s Connor’s Cove, 8316 E. 93rd St.

   During his career Murphy has received many awards and honors, including two Newbery Honor Book awards, a National Book Award finalist medal, three Jefferson Cup awards, two Golden Kite awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, as well as the 2010 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement.  Murphy will speak about his life and works, and sign books at both events.  Copies of his books will be available for purchase as each event.

   Presenting sponsors for the 2013 summer reading program include: Williams, the Tulsa Drillers, the Tulsa Shock, Tulsa Library Trust, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Institute of Museum and Library Services and Tulsa’s Channel 8.

   For more information on Tulsa City-County Library’s children’s and teen summer reading programs, call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit the library’s website, www.tulsalibrary.org.

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