The American Library Association (ALA) writes, “Research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers. Libraries play a key role in their communities, disseminating early literacy information to parents, child care providers, educators and decision makers. Libraries make a major contribution to children’s path to reading, through both books and technology.”

While some of us remember spending a lot of time reading when we were young, there are many more distractions these days. Why pick up a book when you can watch DVDs, play video games and spend hours online. But literacy is still important in today’s world. It will help your child do well in school, and in their adult life. To encourage summer readers, many libraries hold Summer Reading Programs. There are a variety of programs over the summer to encourage children to learn while having fun. They vary from library-to-library, as do the times and duration these programs are held. Watch this newspaper and check flyers, newsletters, library websites and Facebook pages for more information.

In addition to the programs, many register children so they can set reading goals, track their progress and gain recognition for their efforts. They may get their photo and name on a wall, receive a certificate, or win a prize. While the incentives may vary, it’s the end result librarians are after … help little ones learn to read, and keep young readers reading to prevent summer slide. When they return to school in the fall, they won’t have lost what they learned during the school year and they’ll pick up right where they left off in the spring. If your child is not yet reading, you may sign them up for Family Reading, where you read to them and the books are still counted toward a goal.

At Pleasanton Library, registration for Summer Reading began May 8, and registrants began tracking their books on May 20. Their books must be checked out at the Pleasanton Library. After they finish the books, they will receive a stamp, or a punched card. When they’ve met their goal, they can choose a prize from our collection in the display case.

In addition to the reading program, we have a summer of programming lined up for interested children. Our kick-off party, Walk through Wildflowers, will be held at Mine Creek Battlefield on June 5 from 10 a.m. to noon. Watch for more information about that program soon.

In the meantime, encourage your children to sign up for our Summer Reading Program, and consider setting an example by registering as an adult. We have prizes for you as well!