Rock Island, IL: With more than 86 events on the summer schedule, reading "goes to the dogs and cats" at Rock Island Public Libraries with Paws to Read Summer Reading contests, education and fun for all ages from June 2 to August 2.

To kick off summer in a big way, the Rock Island Library will host the Paws to Read Summer Reading Carnival from noon to 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 7. Activities include summer reading registration and prizes, hourly prize drawings, a children's bounce house, games, mascot visits, free face painting, magic, chalk art, and special presentations, including a K-9 police demo, and a costumed pet parade.

Entries are being accepted now for the Paws to Read pet parade. The costumed pet parade is open to any pet with paws that can walk on a leash or be carried in a secure carrier. Entry forms are available at Rock Island Public Libraries, or via the library website at the Summer@ Your Library menu. Pets and their owners earn prizes for best reading theme, best pet-owner match and most original entry. Entries should be returned to Rock Island Libraries by May 31.

Parents of school-age children can also enroll their children now in free six-week long summer education programs that start the week of June 9 at the Main Library:

·         Paws for Drama, for grades 4 to 8, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays;

·         Paws for Art, for grades 3 to 7, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm on Tuesdays, and

·         Paws for Math, grades 2 and up, from 3:15 to 5:15 pm on Tuesdays.

Registration is required. To sign up, call the Children's Room at 309-732-7360. Paws for Art and Paws for Drama are sponsored by the Geifman Memorial of the Rock Island Public Library Foundation.

Registration and entry forms for the library's summer reading contests for children, adults and teens will be available starting June 2. The first 500 people who register will receive a prize. Beyond free summer fun, Rock Island Library events help prevent summer learning loss. Free educational activities for children and families range from weekly storytimes and reading with therapy dogs to special music performances, "Mad Science" and "Reptile Experience" events. According to national research, students without access to summer learning score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer, and may lose up to two months of grade level math computation skills. Summer reading also helps students maintain vocabulary and reading comprehension.

Summer events also include a June 4  "The Fault in Our Stars" celebration for teens and adults, Teen Robot Building, Mini-Golf and Survival Day events for ages 12 to 18, and lifelong learning events, including a June 27 late-night Star Gazing program for ages 12 and older, technology topics, and presentations on dog obedience, native mammals, and more.

For more information about Rock Island Summer Reading, visit any Rock Island Main, 30/31 or Southwest Branches, go to call 309-732-READ (7323.)

Founded in 1872, the Rock Island Public Library serves the area through three locations, which include the Main, 30/31 and Southwest Branches, community outreach efforts, and online opportunities that provide resources to enhance personal achievement and stimulate the imagination.


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