By Karen Billing
Rancho Santa Fe Children’s Library is hoping that kids will “Pause to Read” this summer as part of its annual summer reading program. The program kicked off on June 5 and lasts through July 31 with a fully packed schedule of free activities, encouraging kids to read anything they can get their hands on.
To participate, kids just have to sign up and choose their reading goal — 10 hours or 10 books. Every time they reach that goal they can earn a prize and go through the program as many times as they can.
Additionally, every 10 books or 10 hours read earns a raffle ticket for bigger prizes that will be raffled off at the end of the program’s Ice Cream Social celebration on Aug. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
“The goal is to keep them reading all summer long,” said Laurie Knodle, children’s librarian. “There’s always time to take a break with a book in their hands.”
This year’s summer reading program’s theme is “Pause to Read” and Knodle has taken great care to decorate the library for summer — carving out special nooks for children to take a moment and read.
She built a space ship for kids to read in “space”; created a jungle with animals hanging from vines; and put a few Adirondack chairs in front of a campfire made out of paper to read “outdoors.”
In the teen section, there will be beach chairs and towels in a corner to read at the “beach.”
Knodle has also created a full schedule of activities for the summer: Movie Mondays at 1 p.m., pre-school storytimes on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.; Thursday and Saturday crafts such as beading, spin art and sand art; toddler storytime at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays; and games such as Wii and bingo on Fridays.
There are also special author visits and book signings on June 21 with Salina Yoon, author of “Found” at 2 p.m., and on July 15 at 2 p.m. with Jenny Craig, the author of “I Believe in Genevieve.”
Kids can attend the John Abrams Animal Magic Show on June 25 at 2 p.m. or the Buster Balloon Show on June 30 at 2 p.m.
“There is something going on every single day,” Knodle said.
She encourages families to put the link to the RSF Library Guild website on their smart phones so that wherever they are they can see what’s happening at the library and swing on by.
Knodle hopes it becomes a habit, families coming to the library to check out books, receive a prize for their reading, participate in an activity and read even more books.
“It’s an inexpensive way to keep kids busy in a great way over the summer,” Knodle said.
As cursive writing is no longer being taught in schools, the summer reading program will also hold a “Pause for Penmanship” course on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. The class is open to students third grade and up.
The summer reading program also includes a charitable element through Pause for a Cause, with a bin for donations for the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Through Aug. 1, the library will collect donations of dog and cat food, treats, toys, blankets and pet beds, cat litter, litter boxes and scoopers, and stainless steel food bowls.
Knodle reminds people with Kindle or Nook e-readers that they can download books for free at the library website at sdcl.org.
For more on the summer reading program and the schedule of events, visit RSFLibraryGuild.org/childrens