Sioux Falls, SD
“Be quiet, you're in a library!”
That statement doesn't always apply at the local library. As part of Siouxland Libraries' summer program, kids are finding fun ways to learn.
"We opened the garage and we saw these bottles explode," six-year-old Carter said.
On this Tuesday, the Siouxland Libraries' Youth Services department is teaching kids the important of science by doing a Mentos and soda experiment.
"Then, they all did a different explosion," seven-year-old Ashton said.
Karen Wiechmann, youth services librarian, says it's crucial to keep these kids learning and reading in creative ways.
"It's important that they keep reading during the summer and are exposed to those educational opportunities, classes and things we have here at the library, so that way none of that loss occurs," Wiechmann said. "They can either maintain or even improve their reading skills during the summer."
Wiechmann says if children don't get involved in fun educational summer activities and reading programs, such as the popular "Fizz. Boom. Pop," when school is not in session, they could lose what they had learned during the previous school year.
"You have what is called 'summer learning loss', or also known as the 'summer slide." and kids can actually lose up to a grade level of reading when they go back to school in the fall," Wiechmann said.
Parents, including Amanda Thronson, understand the importance of fun summer learning experiences; things her kids may not get to experience during the school year.
"Every day with my kids it's like a field trip and we get to do hands on things that they just can't do during the school year," Thronson said.
The former English teacher says she feels it is her job as a parent to keep her kids reading and learning and she says the Siouxland Libraries program helps.
"Parents should just keep their kids reading and learning anyway that they can in the summer," Thronson said, "It's important to keep the learning process going so they don't fall behind in the fall."
That’s true for Ashton and Carter who are having too much fun to notice all the important lessons they're receiving.
"I'm definitely coming down to this library this summer because it's really fun, you can read books do fun games on the computer, it's just perfect," Ashton said.
"I like it because it's fun," Carter said.
These fun summer reading and learning activities are open to anyone and everyone.
"To get involved you can just visit our website or stop in to see us at any of our locations and we have lots of stuff going on at locations all over the system so it's best to check our calendar on our website to see what is going on when," Wiechmann said.
The Siouxland Libraries hopes to get 5,000 kids in the reading and activity programs this summer. For more information on the summer programs, visit siouxlandlib.org.
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