The value of the Three R's - reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic - has always been extolled by educators.
Dr. Louisa Moats, in her book "Teaching Reading is Rocket Science" states, "Reading is the fundamental skill upon which all formal education depends. Research now shows that a child who doesn't learn the reading basics early is unlikely to learn them at all. The most fundamental responsibility of schools is teaching students to read."
Acknowledging that the importance of reading cannot be overemphasized, local librarians want to make certain that the "fun" in that fundamental skill is not overlooked.
"We stress reading for entertain," said Karol Radovich, the library's children's services coordinator. "We want students to just read for fun during the month of June."
The library's annual summer reading program, which began June 1, offers programs and activities suitable for pre-readers, who attend story time with a parent, to those who carry both an AARP and a PINES library card.
Younger readers in pre-K through fifth-grade have a program titled "Dream Big, Read" that expands on the theme that dreams do come true in books, Radovich said.
For sixth-graders through teenagers, "Own the Night" will touch on tales related to the supernatural - zombies, vampires, werewolves and ghosts - as well as stars, constellations, dreams and the zodiac, she said.
A special treat will occur June 26, when, in celebration of the 35th anniversary of "Star Wars" a group of Lucas Films-licensed Star Wars characters will visit the library on the Benton Place Campus.
The Catoosa County Library Summer Reading Program's activities are scheduled for Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Wednesdays at 11 a.m., Thursdays at 2 p.m. and alternate Saturdays at 11 a.m., with the possibility of other programs being added. Teen programs will take place on Thursdays at 4 p.m. Anyone interested in the programs can visit the library during regular hours or call 706-965-3600.
Library Director Bridgid Broderick said the adult summer reading program for 2012 has a theme that asks a simple question: "What lies between the covers?"
"This is a nighttime theme that can be connected to books, of course, as well as things traditionally associated with the night: love and romance, bedroom makeovers, relaxation and sleep, night music, et cetera," she said.
Broderick said the theme will be incorporated in displays that include print and audio books, videos/DVDs and music. Adult customers will be asked to review and rate the material using pre-printed forms to rate the material using a 1-5 star system. There will also be theme-related games on "night music" and "famous lovers."
"Our goal is to offer customers the opportunity to have fun, explore new interests and interact with other adults," Broderick said. "We hope it also encourages adults to be good reading role models for children and teens; demonstrate what public libraries can offer for free; increase family participation in library activities; and showcase public libraries as an integral and vital part of the Catoosa County community."