‘Have Book, Will Travel’ : USAGK libraries kick off 2013 summer reading program

Courtesy of Lisa Hartmann

Registration opened Thursday for a shared summer reading program that will reach military families in all branches around the globe.

U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Library readers of all ages can explore a world of book choices around the theme “Have Book, Will Travel.” The program will run six weeks with open enrollment during the summer with programs for infants through adults.

“Last summer, the Department of Defense program set a new reading record: more than 13.2 million minutes spent reading, and USAGK Library patrons were a big part of that success. Each year the program is making a bigger impact on families’ lives,” said USAGK Library Director Shawn Friend-Begin. “This year’s theme will really resonate with our families, who really are on the move, and a book can be a safe and comforting place as they travel the world.”

Decades of research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.

Summer reading programs can help offset this loss, because studies also indicate students who read recreationally out-performed those who didn’t. Students read more when they can choose materials based on their own interests.
“(The) summer reading program was a big success for my kids,” said one happy parent at the conclusion of last year’s USAGK program.

Sponsored by the DOD with program content developed by iREAD, “Have Book, Will Travel” will reach thousands of families. The theme is brought to life by illustrators Anna Dewdney (of the “Llama Llama” series), Terri Murphy and Samantha Schroeder. Resource guides for the program were developed by librarians for librarians to motivate children to read. This year marks the fourth year in which 200 base and installation libraries will participate in the shared summer reading program.

“Summer reading programs are valuable not only in building a lifelong love of reading, but as a means for families and children to spend time together, an especially important aspect for military families,” Friend-Begin said.

For more information on the program, call Nilya Carrato at 202-433-0785 or email dodsumread@navy.mil.