As school comes to an end for summer break, the Dodge City Public Library is preparing for the annual Summer Read program set for June 1.

Many local students experience what is called "summer slide" and actually lose some of the academic gains they made during the previous school year.

To halt the "summer slide" one of the best options is to keep children reading.

The theme for this year's reading program is "Universe of Stories" which will include "space" related content and will run through July 19.

According to DCPL, an estimated 750 young readers participated in last year's program and the library expects this year to be even bigger.

"We are excited for Summer Reading this year as the theme is literally out of this world," said DCPL youth and family services coordinator Brooke Zarco. "We are also introducing a new feature this year in which patrons can register online and keep track of their reading time through a phone or computer app."

Registration for the reading program begins on May 20 and can be found at the DCPL website, and clicking on the summer reading link. Or in-person in the library.

"A few of the activities will include Mad Science coming Thursday, June 27, Celestial Creatures by the Wetland Center from Great Bend on July 11 and a variety of space themed movies every Friday," Zarco said. "I also hear Galactic Slime may be arriving sometime in June as well, along with many other surprise events and activities."

In addition to "space" content, DCPL will have thousands of books for kids to access with rewards for students that read given out.

"I'm excited to be participating in the summer reading program this year as well,"said DCPL lead children’s assistant Amy Reinert-Price. "I have experience with summer camp programming but am excited to see something similar in a library setting.

"My experience as a teacher and with theater outreach should help.

"My love of children’s literature and my desire to help children dream dreams and broaden their horizons will help."

The Summer Reading program is open to young people, preschool through young adult, with programs, prizes, reading and more.

"After all, when you're young, summer is a magical time," said Reinert-Price. "With school out, children are freed of a lot of obligations and able to relax into places that books will take you.

"I look forward to working with the wonderful youth of our community this summer."


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