DES MOINES, Iowa – Libraries across the metro are making sure kids still learn during the summer through different activities.
Director of Des Moines Public Library Sue Woody said over 500 children have signed up for its summer reading program within the first week.
It is important for parents to set aside some time to read each day, so children do not fall behind.
“That’s when if they haven’t been reading and active all summer, by the time they go back to school in the fall their reading levels have actually fallen behind. So, they have to spend the first month just catching up,” Woody said.
Woody said new parents can begin the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge and read to their children.
In addition to its summer reading program, people can check out Adventure Passes at Des Moines libraries to learn about different subjects like animals and plants.
Woody said there are also weekly educational activities for parents to bring their children to.
“We just want to keep kids learning over the summer. So, it might be something STEM-related, something animal-related, music, we’ve got so many different things that we want them to be learning all summer long. That’s not just reading it is so much more,” Woody said.
Woody said the learning environment has changed since parents went to a library.
“Libraries are not the 'shhh' places that they used to be. They are not always quiet between our programs and our summer reading going on they can be loud and stimulating, bright and even noisy at times,” Woody said.
The Des Moines Public Library has sensory friendly opportunities on the third Wednesday of each month at its east side location and a quiet space at its Forest location.
Other libraries around the metro also have sensory friendly opportunities.