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Summer Literacy In The Park Program In Magic Valley

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By Paul Johnson

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) -- Literacy in the Park, a summer
learning initiative the Idaho Commission for Libraries introduced last
year, is in full swing once again, offering kids storytime,
activities, and books to borrow from traveling lending libraries.

The effort runs through Aug. 8, and this year ICfL has expanded it
beyond Boise and Garden City to include Burley, Gooding, Jerome,
Shoshone, Nampa, Caldwell, Lewiston, and other Idaho communities.
Piggybacking on the Idaho Foodbank's Picnic in the Park initiative and
the Idaho State Department of Education's Summer Food Service Program,
ICfL and participating libraries stage Literacy in the Park events
weekly at numerous summer-feeding locations. However, Literacy in the
Park is open to all children in the community.

Literacy in the Park programs slated for the Magic Valley include:

* BURLEY -- The Burley Public Library holds "Food, Fit and Fun in the
Park" 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursdays through July 17 at Storybook Park
(Conant Ave. and W. 14th St.). The events are presented in
collaboration with CSI Mini-Cassia Center, Intermountain Cassia
Regional Medical Center, University of Idaho Extension Service/4-H,
and Cassia County School District. The library also offers summer
reading programs for children, teens, and adults, where participants
set goals, read, and win prizes, plus it offers $1 Summer Reader
Library Cards for children living outside Burley city limits.

* GOODING -- The Gooding Public Library presents "Stories in the Park"
events 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesdays through July 23 at East Park
(Illinois St. and Locke Ave.) in partnership with the Gooding School
District's Summer Nutrition Program. It also stages storytime at the
library (306 5th Ave. W.) 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through July
24, and the library will host an End of Summer Reading Party at 4:30
p.m. Aug. 8 at East Park. A participant in the ICfL's "Make It at the
Library" project, the Gooding Public Library also offers Maker Camp
for tweens and teens 6 p.m. Tuesday evenings through Aug. 11.

* JEROME -- The Jerome Public Library holds "Little Library" events
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fridays through Aug. 29 at South Park (300 E.
Avenue A) in partnership with Jerome Interfaith Association's summer
feeding program. It also hosts a summer reading program at the library
(152 E. Avenue A) at 10 a.m. Thursdays through July 24 except for July
3. A participant in the ICfL's "Make It at the Library" project, the
Jerome Public Library also offers "Make, Create & Collaborate"
sessions at 1 p.m. Mondays.

* SHOSHONE -- The Shoshone Public Library stages "Little Library"
summer reading and summer feeding events at Mary L. Gooding Memorial
Park (N. Rail St. W. and N. Birch St.) at 1 p.m. Wednesdays through
July 16.

Although it's not participating in Literacy in the Park, the Twin
Falls Public Library (201 Fourth Ave. E.) is offering science-oriented
summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults. Children's
summer reading events are held at 10:30 a.m. Fridays through Aug. 1
except for July 4. Teen summer reading events are staged at 4 p.m.
Thursdays through July 31. Upcoming adult summer reading events
include "Culture of the Irrigated West" on June 26 at 7 p.m., July
Book Club on July 8 at 5:30 p.m., and Device Day on July 16 at 9:30-11
a.m., noon to 1:30 p.m., and 6:30-8 p.m. A participant in the ICfL's
"Make It at the Library" project, the Twin Falls Public Library offers
a variety of maker activities throughout the summer, including a teen
robotics club.

Likewise, the Buhl Public Library (215 Broadway N.) offers summer
reading programs for children, teens, and adults. Children's events
are held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays through July 16 except July 2, and teen
programming is offered at 1 p.m. Wednesdays through July 9 except July
2. A participant in the ICfL's "Make It at the Library" project, the
Buhl Public Library is also staging Maker Camp for teens at 1 p.m.
Wednesdays July 16-Aug. 20.

The Commission secured 10 AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to
America) Summer Associates to help librarians and community volunteers
conduct the summer learning efforts throughout the state.

According to State Librarian Ann Joslin, last year's pilot project was
quite successful. "Parents and children really enjoyed the activities
and the books, and there's solid evidence the program caused a sizable
number of kids to read more compared to previous summers," she said.
"They work hard to become better readers over the school year, and
it's important those gains aren't squandered. Children who read six or
more books over the summer hang onto their reading skills better than
those who don't."

For events in other Gem State communities, check your local library's
website or Facebook page for details.

The Literacy in the Park project is made possible in part by the
Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries helps libraries build the capacity
to better serve their clientele by supporting statewide databases and
online resources, continuing education, consulting, programming, early
literacy skills, and building library community. Visit
Libraries.Idaho.Gov to learn more about ICfL.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of
federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation,
lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS grant
making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums
deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and
individuals to thrive. Visit www.imls.gov to learn more about the
IMLS.


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