Every summer I have a childhood memory of participating in SNEAKS, a summer reading program sponsored by the Baltimore County Public Library. I loved the SNEAKS program so much I became a volunteer during my middle school summers, where I would help my peers and younger children get “stamps” for their reading and hand out lunch bags and stuffed animals and other awards for being an avid summer reader. I loved the looks on the faces of the children so much as they would ask for their stamps while simultaneously carrying armfuls of books for next week’s reading.
Reading is one of the most important things for children to do and being read to is something that enhances the lives of the young and old alike. Many schools require summer reading and others reward students who participate in programs like SNEAKS.
For some students, however, the ability to participate in summer reading is hampered by limited funds or access to books.
So, a huge kudos to the Pratt Libraries for eliminating overdue fees — a frequent concern of parents of young children who have trouble keeping deadlines. While Pratt’s decision received national attention, another wonderful program it offers is the ability to sponsor a child for summer reading.
As a young lawyer, a little money can go a long way to help young kids participate in a summer reading challenge. Other libraries around the state also offer the ability to sponsor summer reading and help kids complete their summer reading schedule.
Also, as lawyers, many of us feel that we read at work all day, which makes it hard to escape into books in our free time. But many libraries around Maryland also have summer reading lists for adults. I am proud to say I have graduated from volunteer at SNEAKS to participant in the Adult Summer Reading Challenge sponsored by BCPL. I don’t need to go into the library to get my stamps anymore because I can do everything online — from tracking my reading to getting suggestions from other adults in the challenge.
Considering helping a summer reader and becoming one as well. Challengers are welcome.