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Children and parents listen to a story during story time at the library aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., July 17. Parents bring their children to the library for the summer reading program to foster a love of books and reading.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

‘Have book, will travel’: reading program shows children summer is no bummer

22 Jul 2013 | Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Boys and girls gathered to hear a book read aloud during story time aboard the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., July 17.
These children are all participating in the library’s summer reading program themed “have book, will travel.” The program goes from July 9 to Aug. 10. After story time each week, Jennalyn Gan, a library technician at the air station library, offers arts and crafts based on the books she reads.
“Having the ability to not only read but comprehend what they are reading can take these children far in life,” said Gan. “This program offers them a chance to gain an invaluable skill as they grow up and are in school.”

With the library readily available, the books are free and the kids can even earn prizes during the summer reading program.
“This program opens a lot of different doors for these kids and the library is here to help them,” said Kolea Holdaway, a librarian with the children’s section. “If a child reads 10 books, we enter them into a raffle for one of our prizes, tickets to Aquatica, Sea World, the Birch Aquarium or the Reuben H. Fleet Museum. I have a whole closet full of prizes and packages to give to children for reading, and I want to give them away.”
An average story time may have an audience of five to 10 children, but with more boys and girls coming from the Child Development Center and those who are coming for the program, the groups grow as large as 20 to 25.

“I love it,” said Gan. “It’s nice to have a big group to read for. Then after story time, I pick a craft based on the books that I read to them. Today each book had an elephant in them so we’re making cardboard roll elephants.”

Those leading the readings are not the only ones who enjoy the books, or see the value in reading as a pastime.

“I like to read adventure books,” said Julien, 5. “I like lots of books, and I want to read more. I think everybody loves books, and I’ve read ten already with help from my mom. She helps me read a lot, because I still have to learn to read. But I’m learning.”

Julie, Julien’s mother, likes the program for what it gives her son.

“I love that we read so many books,” said Julie. “He loves the pictures most of all and Dr. Seuss is his favorite. I try to read to him every day, and the library helps get him out of the house and into a new environment.”

With plenty of books to choose from, the program hopes to instill a love of reading in those who participate.

For more information, please contact 858-577-6316 or 858-577-1261.