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Library offers plenty for youth this summer

Mike Dinoffria Special to the Daily Planet
Thursday June 06, 2002

Berkeley’s library system will be doing its part to fight off summer doldrums. 

The newly renovated and expanded Central Library is ready to take on its first summer since reopening April 6. No longer cramped in the temporary confines of its Kitterage location, the Central Library has many events planned for what promises to be a healthy increase of patrons. Much of this effort will be directed toward children.  

The library is offering a summer reading program for those entering grades one through eight to help children maintain or improve reading skills they’ve worked on throughout the school year. The program starts June 14 and lasts until mid-August. A similar program targeted at teenagers called “Cover to Cover” starts June 17.  

“Just like playing a sport or musical instrument, reading is a skill that must be practiced regularly, or kids loose ground, “ says Linda Perkins, manager of Children’s Services. “Research has shown that children who stop reading on the last day of school in June will not be ready for the first day of school in September.”  

Children will be encouraged to read 10 books or 1,000 pages this summer.  

Beyond the reading program, the staff of the children’s section has many other ideas for parents who want to keep their children reading while school is not in session. Some suggestions include reading during family activities and providing children with reading material.  

Already underway, the library is hosting a children’s story time on the first Saturday of each month. A guest story teller will present each story. Traveling storyteller Joel ben Izzy, author of “Lights and Laughter,” will perform on Aug. 3. 

Some of the preformances, like the one this month that featured musician and songwriter Gerry Tenney, will be accompanied by music and a sing-a-long. Story time is aimed at children between three and seven, and includes games and other activities.  

In addition to regularly scheduled events, the children’s section will host a number of features and activities. The schedule includes magicians, puppet shows and performances by ventriloquists. 

On Aug. 6, the Fratello Brothers Marionettes will perform “The Vaudeville Follies.”