DEARBORN — The Dearborn Public Library (DPL) launched its annual summer reading program with its kickoff event hosted in the Henry Ford Centennial Library Auditorium on June 18.
The all-ages Summer Reading Kickoff was an amusing event of storytelling, music and hands-on fun that put on an entertaining show for everybody in the community and it initiated this summer’s reading program, which lasts until July 28.
This program requires that those willing to participate get or renew a library card in one of the three library locations in Dearborn: Bryant Branch Library, Esper Branch Library or the Henry Ford Centennial Library. Various programs cater to the different age groups, ranging from birth-kindergarten categories to adult categories. There’s even an All Ages Summer Reading option available online.
All the reading categories within this program feature readers using a bookmark to log their progress. Bookmarks are used for keeping track of time read for the older kids and early literacy activities for the children who aren’t reading yet. Readers who complete the bookmark (given by the library of choice) are automatically entered to win a prize. There are different prizes depending on age groups and the number of hours contributed by each participant.
The main purpose of this program, according to Rebecca Hermen — a children’s librarian at the Henry Ford Centennial Library — is to provide children with learning activities that are outside of school and a classroom environment. Yet, she also emphasized that not everybody learns by just reading and that the Summer Reading Program isn’t only about reading. The public libraries in Dearborn also promote learning through the use of crafts, lectures and other activities.
“Remember,” Hermen said, “the Henry Ford Centennial Library’s namesake believed strongly in ‘learning to do by doing.’”
Weekly activities occur in all the DPL branches and each year the Summer Reading Program activities are tied to a certain theme. This year the theme is music and the slogan is, “Libraries Rock!”
In addition to all of those benefits, Hermen stressed that (with this year’s theme) people are allowed to explore more creativity. People can do this exploration by making things themselves or by watching movies or hearing concerts.
With this program, the kids get excited, and parents love to see their kids become more accomplished.
In a broad lens, Hermen described reading as a terrific way to go places outside of the four walls of one’s home or beyond the city limits of Dearborn.
“You might not be able to physically travel,” she said, “but when you read you can go anywhere or be anybody. With books, you can start here and go anywhere.”