This is the last week of our children’s programming for the summer until school starts. We will resume pre-school story-time and our after school programs the first full week of school, the week of Aug. 28. Even though the programs have wrapped up for the summer, those participating in the reading programs, which are offered for infants through adults, have until Aug. 21 to complete their logs and turn them in for prizes.

This last stretch before school starts is when we ask parents and grandparents to really step up the reading, bring the children to the library and encourage their children to read beyond the familiar books on their home shelves. One of the main goals of the summer program is to keep our young students school-ready — so when they step back into the classroom, they don’t struggle to remember what they had learned the previous school year.

So when we put together our reading program, we emphasize certain things:

1. Try new authors: Not everyone writes the same, and the vocabulary differences and sentence structure helps students absorb information easier when they are used to the different styles and learn how to find the important information in written text.

2. Stretch your minds: Fiction is a fun read, but it takes reading to be capable of learning about science experiments, history, sports figures, animals, insects, states and countries. Our program encourages the non-fiction reading, biographies and topics associated with the summer reading theme. This year architecture, construction, ecology and building better relationships were all incorporated into the books we purchased for the library.

3. Make reading a family activity: The best example a child has is to see their parents reading. Turn off the television and the media devices, pick up a book and make it a habit for everyone to read together, listen to your children read aloud, and encourage them, help them when they struggle with words they are learning. And complement them for choosing books that challenge them!

4. Use the library whenever you can: Borrowing books, magazines, DVDs and puzzles helps save a lot of money. A family that borrows two adult books, five children’s books, an audio book, four DVDs and downloads two e-books, saves over $230 a month. And the more you use the library, the more you save. Family habits are learned and the library is a good place to learn how to borrow items, and returning them on time teaches responsibility. Take advantage of these inexpensive opportunities to help young people grow into responsible community leaders.

Summer is a hectic time for everyone, but it’s important to take time to relax without losing the skills learned in the past year. There is still a month to go, and we hope many will continue to read and use the library, enjoying the treasures on our shelves.