Courtesy photo
                                King County Library System executive director Lisa Rosenblum participates in a library Story Time event.

Courtesy photo King County Library System executive director Lisa Rosenblum participates in a library Story Time event.

Summertime opportunities to read, learn and grow

A monthly column about King County libraries.

June is the end of the school year, but it’s the beginning of King County Library System’s annual Summer Reading Program, and we’re offering a variety of fun, educational activities to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the summer.

Summer reading programs are designed to bridge the learning gap between the end of the academic year and the start of school in September, helping children keep up on core subjects like reading and math in order to avoid the “summer slide.”

This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories” and kids will enjoy science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) programs such as “Mars Rover Races” and “The Wonders of Space Show” along with presentations by KidsQuest Museum (“Extraterrestrial Engineering”) and the Museum of Flight (“The Portable Universe”).

It’s not just children who get into the spirit of summer reading. In 2018, more than 78,000 children, teens — and adults — participated in the program, logging minutes read at home, at the library, or at one of our “Summer Reading in the Park” events. And registrations continued to grow, increasing 12 percent for children and 21 percent for teens, which included 65 students at the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle. In all, summer reading participants read an impressive 32.2 million minutes.

An important component of our Summer Reading Program is summer meals. Volunteers from partner agencies throughout King County serve free, nutritious lunches and snacks for children and teens who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, while KCLS children and teen librarians offer reading and educational activities at libraries and community sites where the meals are served. And the KCLS Foundation generously provides books for giveaways.

Another partnership that benefits patrons in the summer is our Student Account Program. In collaboration with 18 public school districts and local community and technical colleges, KCLS offers K-12 and college students a special library account that can be used to access eBooks, downloadable materials, databases and other online resources year-round. There is no physical card issued with the accounts — the student account number incorporates the student’s school ID number so it’s easy to remember when school is out.

KCLS supports hands-on learning during the summer, as well. Activities at the ideaX Makerspace at Bellevue Library, Girls Who Code classes, Math Poems workshops, and Instrument Petting Zoos are just a few of the many popular STEAM programs KCLS offers. And, of course, all are free.

The KCLS Summer Reading Program kicked off on Saturday, June 1. Check your local library or kcls.org for a schedule of events near you.

Lisa Rosenblum is the executive director of the King County Library System.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

We are all in this together | Coming of age…again

How can we, as neighbors, help each other?

Earth Month 2020 and COVID-19: Caring for the planet and each other

Here are some ways to minimize your carbon footprint and protect the planet amid the pandemic.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

The true meaning of community | Guest editorial

LWTech president Dr. Amy Morrison reflects on how the COVID-19 outbreak has brought the community together.

Deserving respect for being human | Windows and Mirrors

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted. Here’s what’s been happening on the Eastside.

Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Now is the time to be kind to each other | Windows and Mirrors

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, it is important for us to be there for others in our communities.

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading

Libraries are the place to go according to poll

Library will host short film festival on March 20.

A way to keep us healthy | Letter

A problem has occurred recently that I would like to address. On… Continue reading

Events and new resources blossom for older adults this spring | Coming of age…again

While we may work out, run, walk or bicycle to exercise and stay “fit,” exercising our brain is a bit more complex.