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Fort Knox is one of an estimated 250 military bases participating in a summer reading program this year themed “Reading is So Delicious.”
Summer reading is a long-time staple of the Barr Memorial Library on Fort Knox. It added a program tailored to teenagers three years ago.
Larra Clark, spokeswoman for the national iRead Summer Reading Program, said in a statement summer reading participation has been increasing overall among libraries on military bases in an effort to encourage reading and reduce the effects of summer learning loss.
Robert Steinmacher, director of the Fort Knox library, said the summer reading program is important to the community because studies show children return to school as better readers if they actively build on work they completed during the school year.
The program combats learning loss by reinforcing and encouraging what students learned at school, he said.
Steinmacher said library employees hope to send students back to school with higher reading comprehension and vocabulary skills.
“We think reading is the bedrock of a good education, so better readers likely will be better educated and more significant contributors to our community and nation as a whole when they grow up,” he said.
This year’s program at Fort Knox has begun and continues through July 14 with finales for children July 21 and teens July 20.
Summer reading is open to patrons of all ages, Steinmacher said.
“Whether you are 8 or 80, you can always learn and develop your reading skills and vocabulary,” he said.
There are programs for children in the birth to 12 age range and the 13 to 17 range with events every Tuesday through Thursday through the week of July 14.
Steinmacher hopes the program reinforces the importance of reading.
“For the adults encouraging the children and teens, I think it says a lot about them and wanting to see the young people in their lives continue to read, even when they are on summer break,” he said.
Steinmacher wants students to know reading can be fun, not only a school assignment.
“I hope that everyone participating realizes that at the end of the summer, it’s really not about the programs or the prizes,” he said. “It’s about young people becoming better readers and using those skills to become successful adults.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.