Laurin Linscott has bugs in her office, but she’s not complaining.
Linscott is the head children’s librarian at Kent Regional Library, 212 Second Ave. N., and she’s gearing up for the library’s summer reading program, titled “Catch the Reading Bug.”
“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a great summer,” said Linscott, pushing aside a ladybug-shaped basket to reach the summer-program leaflets.
The program starts June 16, and runs through the end of August at all King County Library System branches. It includes a reading-rewards program, library activities and – in Kent – a bookmark-design contest.
Reading for fun
The main element of the library’s summer agenda is a reading-rewards program for children. The program asks children in kindergarten through elementary school to record how long they spend reading, as well as which books they read. The goal is 1,000 minutes before Aug. 31.
At 500 minutes, readers can come in to claim their halfway prize: a coupon for a free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut. At 1,000 minutes, they’ve earned the finisher prize: a pair of Summer Reading binoculars.
Those who finish the 1,000 minutes before Aug. 31 can also enter a drawing for a new laptop computer. The KCLS Foundation has three laptops to give away, one each for its northern, central and southern regions of libraries.
“We have done (the laptop giveaway) before, and it’s very, very popular with the children, even first graders,” Linscott said.
Preschoolers on board
KCLS has added a new component to the summer program this year — a reading-reward program designed specifically for preschoolers.
“This is sort of exciting,” said Linscott of the preschool program. “Before, preschoolers would do (the reading program), but it was really geared toward older kids.”
The new preschool summer-reading program features a Summer Reading Game, meant for preschoolers and parents to complete together.
The “game board” contains 18 honeycomb-shaped spaces, each with the outline of an insect. To fill the board, parents and their preschoolers must do a number of different activities, from reading 20 minutes a day (ladybug spaces) to acting out stories or dancing (ants), to trying new words or alphabet activities (bee).
By the time they fill in the game board, parents will have read at least 160 minutes to their little one, in addition to the other activities.
Preschoolers who complete their game board can come in to the library for their prize: a special KCLS edition of “On Beyond Bugs! All About Insects” by Tish Rabe.
To complement the reading program, the Kent Library will offer a number of events throughout June, July and August.
The kick-off event will be “La Cucaracha,” a Spanish/English series of songs and stories about insects, presented by Marco Cortes at 2 p.m. June 21.
Other highlights of the summer include “Catchy Tunes and Jumping Jokes,” featuring former Disney Channel performer Gary Lapow; an “Insect Safari” with entomologist Don Ehlen; a shadow theater production of “Thumbelina”; and weekly bug-themed story times.
Summer reading-program events wrap up with a finale party Aug. 9 at the Kent Library. Everyone who participated in the summer reading program is welcome to drop in during the party to enjoy games, snacks and live entertainment.
In addition to the reading program and bug-themed events, the Kent Library also will play host to a bookmark design contest. Children ages 6 to 18 can design bookmarks reflecting the summer theme, “Catch the Reading Bug,” and turn in their designs by Aug. 31 for the chance to win prizes. Bookmark-contest forms are available at the Kent Library.
Children and parents can pick up booklets at the library containing a reading log, a bug-themed suggested reading list and reading contest rules starting June 16.
For more details, call 253-859-3330 or visit www.kcls.org.