Liberation, Magic & Transformation • The 2018 Public Libraries of Saginaw SUMMER READING PROGRAM

Posted In: News, ,   From Issue 862   By: Robert E Martin

23rd May, 2018     0

“You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”

                ~Dr. Seuss

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

                ~Frederick Douglas

As one fortunate to have enjoyed a life-long love affair with the written word, beginning as a youth with the magical landscapes and imaginative morality tales of Dr. Seuss, Aesop’s Fables, and the Tom Swift series; graduating in high school to deeper revelations discovered in the works of Shakespeare, Faulkner and Salinger; leading into the collegiate years discovering the powerful transformative poetry of the written word to impact society through New-Journalists such as Norman Mailer, Hunter Thompson, and the recently departed Tom Wolfe; the undeniable truth is that the gift of reading, writing, and communication exists as the fundamental gateway to understanding not only the universe, but our own place within it.  Or as Cicero once put it: ‘A room without books is like a body without a soul.’

Sadly, a sobering fact that should slap each of us in the face is the reality that currently the average reading level in the United States is between the 7th to 8th grade, which in turn makes programs such as the Public Libraries of Saginaw’s Summer Reading Program an undeniably valuable asset and perhaps the most important tool we can embrace to transform the world that we live within.

According to Maria McCarville, Director of Public Libraries of Saginaw, “The Summer Reading Program puts books in the hands of children and helps students build reading skills, prevent summer learning loss, and prepare for a successful school year. Access to books and library programs over the summer months results in more reading, which results in improved reading skills.  We partner with school and local organizations to help promote the Summer Reading Program.  Children are encouraged to discuss the books they read.  Library staff help children select reading materials and provide literacy-enhancing programs such as storytelling, music, arts and performances.”

“The Public Libraries of Saginaw has been committed to a Summer Reading Program for decades,” reflects Jennifer Harden, Marketing Librarian.  “The program recently underwent some changes in the prize structure, so that the main focus is on the children in our community. For the first time ever, we are offering babies, children, and teens a brand new book of their own when they register. This is before they earn any other prizes. It has been proven that summer slide results in marked disadvantages for lower income children. By the end of fifth grade, it is approximated that lower income children are 2.5 years behind. This is mainly due to summer reading loss.”

“We work hard to make summer reading fun,” she continues.  “By offering incentives and programming for children, it is our hope that we increase their visits to the library, increasing their reading outside of school and resulting in more retention and less slide.  Traditionally, summer reading programs are designed to encourage elementary-aged children to keep reading during summer vacation. Preventing the “summer slide” continues to be the main objective of summer reading programs. For many families with elementary-aged children, the public library is the only community space available during the summer months where they can access free educational and cultural enrichment activities and programs.”

This year’s theme for the Summer Reading Program is Libraries Rock!  Moreover, cohesive programs are offered not only for elementary-aged children, but also tweens, teens and adults.  You can sign up at any Saginaw Public Library Branch from June 11 – July 21st. Participants are given a reading record to log your time spent reading or listening to someone else read, as audio books are included.

Participants are also rewarded with various prizes: Children Birth to Age 3 receive a price upon completion, children preschool through 6th grade receive a prize at registration; and if you read five hours you receive a halfway prize, with 10 hours of reading allowing participants a final prize. For Adult Summer Reading, if you read 25 hours you can get entered into a drawing to win $50.00 Gift Cards and Kindles. 

Summer Reading Program is free and open to everyone and also includes an impressive roster of guest performers that will be visiting all branches of the Public Libraries of Saginaw and is listed below:

Rock & Roll Magic Bookshelf (Children).

Magic is everywhere, especially in books! Join one of the top children’s magicians in the country, Scheer Genius, as he transforms children’s books into mind-boggling magic routines that make your child the star.

Pixilation Video Production (Tweens/Teens)

Participants will produce a stop-motion, group-animated video starring themselves. Pixilation is a live action, experimental form of stop-motion animation where the people are the puppets! Includes a free DVD of the animation for each participant.

Paleo Joe (Children)

Libraries Rock! . . . and so do dinosaurs! Come see full-size replicas of a Utah raptor foot and world famous Archaeopteryx, along with a full-size banner of a T-Rex skull. Some lucky participants get to wear fuzzy dinosaur feet and Pterodactyl wings.

Exotic Zoo (Children)

Join this traveling zoo that brings exotic animals for hands-on learning fun. Everyone sees and touches the animals while learning about habitats, diets, and more!

Dance & Sing with Rick Kelley (Children)

Don’t just sit there. . . read something! This high-energy program is loaded with songs emphasizing reading. We will have children in Kindergarten and older dancing and singing.

Jamaican Folk Tales (Children)

Shani Womack brings a presentation that embodies the spirit of her Jamaican Grandmother. Shani presents a lively and entertaining program that will have you singing, dancing, and laughing!

Singing a Story, Telling a Song (Children)

Sing, dance, move, and groove with story artist, Jenifer Strauss. With puppets, props, and percussion, Jen shares stories we can sing and songs that tell stories.

Library of Rock (Children)

This Acting Up Theatre Company production includes a fast-moving story with colorful characters, comedy, and audience participation!

The Libraries Rock Magic Show (Children)

This magic show features Baffling Bill’s amazing magic, audience participation, and Gus the Bunny!

In addition to this year’s guest performers, the Public Libraries of Saginaw will also be holding programs led by their Librarians. These programs include a Fire Department Touch a Truck Event, Chess Club, Book Discussions, Wiggle-Bots, Rock Painting, Bleach Pen Art and more.

For more information and a complete schedule of Summer Reading Program events please visit and click on the Libraries Rock banner. You can also call any of the Saginaw Public Library branches during normal business hours.





Please login to comment



Current Issue


Don't have an account?