Summer reading at York County Library
York County Libraries children's program manager Lisa Schmittle will tell the story of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" as she visits all 13 county libraries this summer as part of the summer reading program. (Submitted)

Kids across York County will soon toss aside their backpacks, opting instead for afteroons spent riding bikes, cooling off in sprinklers and asking parents, "What's there to do?"

Despite happy memories of vacations and fair weather, summer is also a time when many children struggle to access educational opportunities and for parents to provide enriching experiences.

Coined the "summer slide," the loss of academic skills over summer months has been shown in research to negatively impact students, particulary low-income families, according to the National Summer Learning Association. The association also said additional studies have shown that children, particularly those at high risk of obesity, gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break.

York County Libaries will offer its summer reading club and GO York! physical activity program June 1 - Aug. 17. This year's theme is GO and experiment! Fizz Boom Read, and is geared to children and teens from birth to 18 years old.

Children and parents are invited to sign up for the free program at any time, though many join in the first two weeks, according to York Libraries community relations director Deb Sullivan. Early registration gives participants more time to read, search for posts and attend more free programs.

Local businesses will donate prizes to encourage kids to keep their reading skills growing and to keep active during summer vacation. Programs will include Bee-ginning Robot Programming; Hiss, Zoom LEAD! With Ryan Bridge, "The Bug Man"; Science in Your Backyard; and Sciencetellers.

As part of the program, York Libraries children's program manager Lisa Schmittle will be visiting all 13 locations to share An Egg-citing Preschool Story with children, ages 3 - 5, and their families.

Schmittle will be reading "First the Egg," by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," by Eric Carle. During story time, children will first learn how a variety of animals and insects change, and then have an opportunity to make their own caterpillars.

"I think it's important that children and parents know that you can learn something from picture books," Schmittle said. "Not only are they fun to read but these happen to be picture books that are educational as well."

York County Libraries and GO York! will host the Maryland Science Center at the official kick-off event for the 2014 GO and Experiment! Fizz Boom Read summer program.

The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 31, in the Horitcultural Hall at the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave., West Manchester Township.

Science center educators will present "Science Unscripted"; an interactive show where kids decide what experiments will be performed. A variety of activities and face painting will be offered. Kids can also register early for the summer reading program at the event.

To register for the summer reading club, or for more information on the program, visit www.yorklibraries.org.

- Reach Amy Peiffer at apeiffer@yorkdispatch.com.

An Egg-citing Preschool Story

Children's program manager Lisa Schmittle will present a free story time and craft for children ages 3 -5 as part of York Libaries summer reading club. Schmittle will be visiting all 13 York County libraries this summer.

  • Village Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 4
  • Mason-Dixon Public Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 11
  • Arthur Hufnagel Public Library of Glen Rock: 11 a.m. Thursday, June 12
  • Red Land Community Library: 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 13
  • Dover Area Community Library: 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 17
  • Paul Smith Library of Southern York County: 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 18
  • Kreutz Creek Valley Library Center: 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 27
  • Collinsville Community Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 2
  • Martin Library: 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 8
  • Glatfelter Memorial Library: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 15
  • Dillsburg Area Public Library: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 22
  • Kaltreider-Benfer Library: 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, July 29
  • Guthrie Memorial Library: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1