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Fort Washakie's library providing page-turners

Jun 24, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Staff members at the Fort Washakie School/Community Library want to encourage their patrons to make reading a regular activity this summer.

"The Summer Reading Club is designed to promote literacy through the summertime and to invite young people to read things they would normally not read, so poetry and drama and nonfiction, biographies of heavyweight wrestlers, books about snakes," school librarian Robin Levin said.

"We're trying to encourage youngsters to push themselves into new reading territories. We're accepting anybody from kindergarten through high school and we'll keep track. We have the usual school chart with stars for every book they can successfully describe," Levin said.

The library's Summer Reading Program is happening from June through August and participants will be able to get the chance to create artwork for bookmarks.

"In educational circles there's a difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The intrinsic motivation is 'I'm doing it because it's so cool to do it,' and the extrinsic motivation is 'I'm doing this because I'm going to get a prize,'" Levin said.

"We like the intrinsic motivation, therefore when you complete three books and you report successfully on them you may submit artwork of your own design and it will be included in the bookmark collection next year," she said.

The library creates and gives away the bookmarks designed by students each school year.

"We hand out bookmarks that are student artwork. It's very popular and we realize how popular that can be," Levin said. "This year it will be a chance for everybody who reads during the summer to submit artwork as a winner."

Additionally, all participants who create bookmarks will enter a drawing to win a grand prize Apple iPad during the first week of the upcoming school year.

Participating in the program simply means reading books approved for a reader's level and successfully answering questions about the material. Readers can go online to fill out reports about the books they read.

"We've built a questionnaire to describe the book you read," Levin said. "For those who are traveling and can't get to the library, we're trying to accommodate that."

She and others are hopeful the program will increase reading by students.

"One of the things that I think is critical includes the idea that kids do not have to come to the library to read, they do not have to borrow library books," Levin said.

"You don't have to find transportation to get to the library to submit a report or the evidence because we have the online access," she said.

The Fort Washakie School/Community Library's summer hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The library is closed Saturday and Sunday.

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