Book Worms of Clear Lake – UNITE!!


With an open Word document and no sense of direction about where to take this blog, my mind began to wander.  It travelled way (and I mean way) back to the good old days of summer vacation as a kid. Sleeping late, playing softball, hanging out with friends.  And of course, reading all the books.  I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm so it’s no surprise I enjoyed the summer reading program.

Finding that perfect book, settling in and letting the pages take me on an adventure.

It was the best. 

The summer reading program was more about hitting that final prize level.  And, of course, collecting all the cool trinkets along the way.  Then there was the school reading program, which was totally different.  In my hometown, we would fill out the little slip of paper for pages read and turn it in to receive a personal pan pizza at the local pizzeria.

Genius.  Pizza and prizes for reading.

After a bit of research, I found out the summer reading program has been around for quite some time.  In fact, it began in the 1890s to encourage kids to read over the summer.  Geared toward urban areas back in those days, it was a sign of the times.  Farm kids often had to work and were less concerned with school activities and such.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that the concept really began to catch on.  Libraries even began to allow children to select their own books to read.  That sense of freedom was the beginning of the shift from educational reading toward enjoyment.

In the 1940s, the term ‘summer slide’ was coined.  Teachers began to realize just how much students lost over the summer months and pushed to combat that loss with reading.

The 1970s saw a modernized summer reading program, much the same as they are today.

Students were encouraged to read.

That’s it.  No rules, no recommendations of reading materials.  It didn’t matter what they read, they just needed to read.

Of course, the 1990s opened a whole new can of (book) worms with the addition of digital materials.  With these fancy new computers, would kids still read? And now, with social media to promote the programs, new ideas are formed each year to keep kids interested and excited about reading.  Collaborations are formed as people find it easier to connect with people across the globe.

Turns out, after over 100 years, through all the social and economic changes we’ve encountered, the importance of reading is prevalent today. Students who participate in the summer reading program demonstrate higher reading achievements throughout their education.

After technological advances and unstable political climates, summer reading programs have endured the test of time.  Their focus is to keep kids reading.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, your income level, or even your interest.  There’s a book out there for you.

Which is something to celebrate!

At the Clear Lake Public Library, their 2022 program “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” is going strong.  Check out all the details below!!

Join us for a brand-new summer reading program with iREAD, titled “Read Beyond the Beaten Path!”

All ages are invited to experience different Summer Camp weekly themes, earning badges (buttons) along the way.

Weekly program themes include: Sports, Nature, Music, Games, Magic, and Science.
Participants have eight weeks, June 1 – July 22, to complete the program and be entered into the drawing for grand prizes.
Reading logs MUST be turned in on or before July 22nd to be eligible for prizes.
Grand prizes will be awarded in three age brackets:
Adult (anyone 18+)
Teen (6th – 12th grade)
*Children (up to 5th grade)
*Children will also receive a free book for finishing the program.

Register at the library desk starting Wednesday, June 1st!

Children’s Librarian, Bri Sholly, spends countless hours ensuring the kids have an enchanting experience at the Clear Lake library.  She’s ALL IN for the reading program this year, even dying her hair “campfire” for the occasion.

Bri Sholly

As if that’s not enough, the Surf Ballroom Music Enrichment Center has decided to partner up with the local libraries of Clear Lake, Garner and Belmond to offer a little twist of fun to encourage reading! Upon completion of the library reading program, they can stop at the Surf to pick up their prize.

There’s nothing I love more than a Clear Lake Chamber Member collaboration!!  It makes my little Clear Lake heart go pitter-patter.

Reading is one of those things that surpasses the test of time.  It’s something you can enjoy your entire life.  Think of it like a workout for you brain.  Don’t let those cognitive muscles get all soft and squishy this summer.