Join a Summer Reading Program

Last week, at the Fort Thomas branch of the Campbell County Public Library, Sophie colored, tried on all the dress-up hats, played at the train table with James and Owen (and was surprisingly patient with their quest to break apart the track instead of put it together) and built towers. Then, she picked out three books. We checked them out and she carried them to the car in her Olivia bag.

As I was strapping her into her carseat she said, “Can I read one of my books on the way home?”

Every once in awhile Sophie will do or say something that reminds me so much of my childhood that I feel like I’m transported back to my past, a long-forgotten memory suddenly so vivid. This was one of those moments. Even though I grew up in Liberty Twp., we always participated in the Lebanon Public Library‘s summer reading program (oh how I loved those T-shirts we earned at the end). The books were housed in a beautiful, old building and sometimes we were treated to ice cream at Village Ice Cream Parlor after. And always I asked to read on the way home.

Today the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County kicks off its 38th Annual Summer Reading Program—Team Read—which runs through July 31. Open to preschoolers on up to adults, top readers at every library branch can win really great prizes including books, tickets to Coney Island or a Cincinnati Reds game and Nooks. (Way better than a T-shirt.)

Consider registering for a summer reading program this year. If you’re local, you can register for Team Read here (and you don’t have to be a Hamilton County resident to participate). I firmly believe an appreciation of books is one of the most important gifts you can give to your children and this is a most wonderful way to get them excited about reading.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” —Charles W. Eliot