The Natchitoches Parish Library’s Summer Reading Program kick-off party will be Saturday, May 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the NPL’s main branch front lawn. The library will be hosting the Party Wagon Petting Zoo all day long with magic shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Nathan Roberts. There will also be free hand-painting, snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn. A registration booth will be available all day and everyone who signs up gets a chance to win a prize.
“Growing up, I always looked forward to the fun of the Summer Reading Program at the library,” said NPL Community Outreach Coordinator Alan Niette. “Now, on the other side of things, everyone at the NPL looks forward to offering this service to our community.”
The program works to promote reading to adults, teens and children. While everyone gets the mental health benefits from lifelong reading and learning, it is especially important for kids on break from school. There is often a regression in academic proficiency that hinders progress in the following school year, with a recent study by the Northwest Evaluation Association showing, on average, a 20% loss from school-year gains. This “summer slide” puts younger children at most risk as they are at a crucial stage in their development. The SRP engages kids and their interests’ so that their letter knowledge, decoding, and word reading skills continue to develop, rather than stagnate or decline. Each week, the NPL’s Main Branch and Northeast Branch in Campti will offer performances for children.
For a full schedule, visit natlib.org or follow the NPL on social media. Weekly programs for teens and adults will be offered as well. The theme for this year is “Tails and Tales.” Participants read to earn six prizes and extra entries for grand prize drawings.