{Local} Summer Reading Programs & Keep 'Em Reading Tips

summerreadingDid you know, research shows children who don’t read at all in the summer can lose up to two months or more of their reading skills and can start the next school year a little behind? You can help avoid this summer reading slide by helping to keep kids engaged and interested in reading, and there are plenty of ways to help them keep it up that will give their reading a boost in the summer months. Our area's libraries have some great summer reading programs lined up, with activities and incentives that will keep them on track and interested in reading even with all the fun distractions summer offers. Here is a listing of the summer reading programs offered by our local libraries, including some tips on how to keep them reading all summer long. For more on these tips plus some great recommendations from Northshire Bookstore bookseller Jennifer Armstrong, pick up a copy of the Summer Issue of Mamatoga Magazine, or click here to read the story online.

tip1Saratoga Springs Public Library

The Saratoga Springs Public Library's summer reading program runs from June 23rd to August 31st and is open to children from the age of three through those entering 6th Grade in the fall. The library has planned programs to keep children reading, learning and having fun all summer with performances, story hours, a reading club, and more. Children with special needs are welcome at all programs; please speak with them to see how they can provide a wonderful experience for your child. Programs are supported in part by The Friends of the Saratoga Springs Public Library

Time Spent Reading = Prizes Earned!

  • Every 60 minutes spent reading = eligibility for one prize (limited to one prize a day).
  • 1,500 minutes read during the summer program = eligibility for GRAND PRIZE*

* Children will still be eligible for the grand prize when they reach the reading goal even if they have not received all of the smaller prizes during the program.

Registration process: Online and in-person registration begins at 9am Monday, June 23, 2014. Click here to register and manage your reading records on or after June 23.

Record Keeping: You and your child can record books read and time spent reading online. If you would like a paper reading record to help you keep track at home, let them know and we will provide you with one. Books and time spent reading will still need to be entered online. This can be done from home or at the library.

Book Reporting: In order to receive prizes for time spent reading, children must still come in to the library and report on a book to a Book Buddy or staff member in the Children's Room. Children may report once per day. For each report, one prize will be given! Call them at (518) 584-7860 or click here for more information.

tip2Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

Clifton Park has their 2014 Summer Reading Clubs where kids can read, have fun, and earn prizes! There's a program for everyone from age 3 through adult. You can find details about the individual Summer Reading programs and register to get started using the links found here, and watch their Summer Reading Video based on the NYS Summer Reading theme - Fizz, Boom, Read!

They are also holding a Public Library Photo Contest, and they want to know where you're reading this summer. Send them a picture of you, your family or your friends reading this summer before midnight on August 31. Library staff will choose the top entries and the public will vote for the grand prize winner. See the CPH Public Library Photo Contest page for more information.

tip3Ballston Spa

The Ballston Spa Public is gearing up for an amazing summer of fun with programs for children, tweens, teens and even adults for summer reading. Sign-ups for all events and the summer reading club begin on Wednesday, June 26th from 10am-7pm. You may sign up for events in person of by phone (885-5022). Reading club sign-ups must be done in person.

Here are a sampling of the events they have planned for this summer, for a full schedule click here:


  • July 24th at 2pm, The Puppet People Presents: The Pirate of Book Island. Go on a quest to solve the mystery of Book Island! For children ages 4-9.
  • July 31st, Price Chopper Kid’s Cooking Club. Session 1: 1:00pm-2:00pm, limit 25. Session 2: 2:30-3:30pm, limit 25. *One session per child*. For children ages 4-9.
  • August 7th at 2pm, Crafting with the Tang Museum. For children ages 4-9. Make a one-of-a-kind craft inspired from real artwork!
  • Aug. 2nd, 2pm. Minecraft Mania for kids aged 10-15. Join them for all things Minecraft: food, games, and design-your-own t-shirt. All participants should bring a green t-shirt to decorate.
  • Aug. 9th, 2pm. Jewelry Making Afternoon for kids aged 10-15. Earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, leave with at least 2 finished jewelry projects.

Space is limited in these programs so be sure to register ahead of time for your favorites.

tip4Crandall Public Library

Program begins at the kick off on Monday, June 30th and ends Tuesday, September 2nd. For the kick off event, meet in City Park outside the Library (rain location Community Room). Sing and dance with music from Andy Morse the Music Man then meet some Great Escape characters. Please feel free to dress as your favorite book character or wear a costume. Be among the first to join the Summer Reading Program and receive a special gift! For families with children ages 12 & under. No registration. Monday, June 30th 2:15 -  3:45pm.

For kids ages 4 and up — read, come talk to them about your books, and play their special game anytime the library is open. Be eligible for fabulous prizes! Can’t make it into the library much this summer? You can sign up and record your list online here and just stop by at least once to pick up your prizes.

The Bumble Bear Club: Summer Read to Me Program runs June 30th - September 2nd for kids birth - 3. Stop by the library to pick up a folder. Enjoy time reading and completing activities with your little one to earn prizes.

Their programs fill quickly, and to give all families a chance to participate, there will be three sign up dates. Sign up for Session 1 begins Tuesday, July 1st, Sign up for Session 2 begins Friday, July 18th, Sign up for Session 3 begins Monday, August 4th. All programs are FREE, unless noted. Please call (518) 792 - 6508 x 4 or stop by the library to register.

Here are a few of the programs they'll be offering this summer (sign ups required):

  • Domino the Great, Magician Extraordinaire! Monday, August 11th, 11 - 11:40am Ages 3 and up. Free tickets available at Children’s Desk beginning August 4.
  • Fashion Design: Inspired by Science Tuesday August 12th, 2 - 3:30pm. Ages 7 and up. Learn some techniques of fashion design and explore the science behind fashion and fabric.
  • Duct Tape Art Wednesday, August 13th, 7 - 8pm Ages 9 - 12, Children’s Activity Room. See what you can create with tape!

tip5Town of Ballston Community Library

The Town of Ballston Community Library is offering free programs for kids from babies to teens and this year all summer reading enrollment will be done online. You can register now by visiting the library's website or in person at the library, Program registration and reading logs will begin on Saturday, June 28th at 10am, enroll online in advance so your kids can get started right away! Click here for more information and to register.