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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Libraries filled with summer adventures

Mary Beth Donelan

They may be taking a break from school this summer, but kids can still curl up with a good book to learn something new. Reading can take them on a great adventure — without ever leaving their chairs. Sign-up for the city and county library branches summer reading program — Discover New Trails at Your Library — starts June 1.

When children sign up for the reading program, they will get a reading log to keep track of the books they read or hear this summer. When they’ve read 15 books, they can bring their completed log to the library and get a free paperback.

Spokane Public Library and Spokane County Library District have created several recommended reading lists on the libraries’ joint summer reading Web site ( www.summerreadingspokane.org). If the kids would rather talk to a real person, librarians are always on hand to help with additional book suggestions.

There are also lots of fun activities for children this summer, from arts and crafts to puppet shows, sing-alongs to story times. A full calendar of summer reading events for the libraries is available on the Web site.

For more information, call the Spokane Public Library at (509) 444-5331 or at the Spokane County Library District at (509) 924-4122, ext. 241.

Building better readers

Sylvan Learning Center offers these tips to help your children be more fluent, reflective readers.

• Before reading, point to the pictures in the book and discuss what is happening and what she thinks the story will be about.

• While reading, stop frequently to talk about what is happening and what she thinks will happen next. Encourage her to visualize the story as it unfolds.

• After reading, discuss any questions she has about the story. Ask her about the characters in the story and the plot line. Ask questions about the story from the perspective of another character.

• Look up unfamiliar words.

To find tips on selecting age-appropriate books, visit the Book Adventure at www.bookadventure.org, a free Sylvan-sponsored online, interactive reading motivation program.

Go wild

Just For Kids, the Summer Junior Ranger Program for ages 5-12, is hosting nature programs some Saturdays at 11 a.m. at Riverside State Park. Discover the park’s history, wildlife and plant life, and experience firsthand the job of a park ranger.

Upcoming programs in June include Get Wild on June 12, where participants learn to hunt like a predator, hide like prey and learn about the forest and river ecosystems. The meeting place will be the Nine Mile Ranger Station.

On June 19, meet at the Spokane House Interpretive Center for Fur Trade, and learn about American Indians and fur traders and speak with people dressed in authentic period costumes.

All programs are free and last about an hour. A parent or guardian must accompany children. Pre-registration is required by calling (509) 465-5064. Dress for the weather and wear walking shoes.

Checking in

A new journal on the market is the “Look What I Did Today” journal to keep parents and caregivers on the same page with a child’s development and activities. The journal offers a week-at-a-glance format with suggestions for everyday activities, and this easy-to-read guide helps parents and those entrusted with the care of children to communicate effectively about a child’s daily growth.

For more information, go to Pandora@orcacommunications.com or call (480) 452-3025.

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