Back-to-school support is available at area libraries

Joy McCoy
Youth Service Specialist
Grand County Library District

It is happening again – those school clothing ads, electronics ads for college students, grass turning to gold, crisp air in the mornings. It’s Back-to-School time.

For the past three months, the Grand County Library District has been hosting the 2013 Summer Reading Program, with nearly 800 participants in its five libraries. All those participating gave themselves a great boost in maintaining or improving their reading skills and can feel confident in being ready for the 2013-14 school year.

Getting ready to read, and learning to read, are the key elements of school preparedness. Our libraries help from the ground floor, with early literacy story times for toddlers and preschoolers every week. Children learn to listen in a group, follow a story, interpret meanings, make predictions, and they have a lot of fun doing it. They do projects related to stories, which in turn enable them to retell stories or the day’s events to a loved one. Gaining a love of reading during early literacy programs is a positive and important step in a lifetime of learning.

For beginning readers, our libraries offer “Primers,” which are leveled reading books with limited vocabulary for the early learner to read alone or as shared reading with a more advanced reader. Chapter books are ideal for grade school kids. They have wonderfully independent main characters in a host of hilarious or challenging situations, often set at school. There are usually multiple books in a series, so children this age often love to read through them all. What a great way to reinforce their skills. Grand County Library District also offers after-school programs, which can be an important link in the day for working parents. Check your local library or for program details.

Pre-teens and teens already know that there are good computers available, which they often need to use for their schoolwork. Resources are very accessible both in print and downloadable formats, and via our online databases such as the Encyclopedia Britannica and Novelist. For all age levels, check out the many library resources available with thousands of ideas for school projects and reports.

And Grand County Libraries are not just for kids — adults can also start planning to go back to school themselves. Anyone who did not graduate from high school is encouraged to check out library study guides useful in obtaining a GED certificate. All who need it are invited to come to Monday morning computer tutoring at Granby library. Library card holders may sign up for any of the 540 free Universal Class courses available through the library where you can Improve computer skills, gain vocation training, and earn continuing education credits. Try MANGO, our on-line language resource to learn 49 different languages, or use library resources to research, choose and apply to schools of all types.

Libraries are for lifelong learning, whether you are a preschooler learning the alphabet or an adult looking for enrichment.

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