By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
If you want a summer vacation filled with fun and adventure, you don’t need a travel agent. You just need a library.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s perennial favorite summer reading program is being transformed to incorporate a wider variety of learning experiences. Now called Summer Break: Read, Learn, Explore, the enhanced program will still include reading as its core, but will also encourage participation in writing, creating, playing, exploring and giving. It’s a new experience designed to challenge learners of all ages.
Did you know that reading for at least 20 minutes per day is a great way to keep your brain active? This is important for school-age children in preventing summer learning loss, but it’s also essential for adults who want to keep their brains flexible and nimble. Check out Summer Break book recommendations and earn badges for logging your reading!
A critical skill in becoming a good reader, writing fosters our ability to explain and refine our ideas to others and ourselves, and it expresses who we are as people. Write in a journal, send a hand-written letter to a friend or attend a writing workshop at your local library.
Creativity expands our perceptions and allows us to see obstacles not just as roadblocks but also as opportunities. Creative activities also make life much more interesting and fulfilling. Earn a badge for creative activities such as attending an art workshop, making a new recipe or planting a seed.
Even as babies, we are driven to explore the world around us, discover new things and push beyond the boundaries of what we already know. Though exploration, we not only broaden our horizons, but we create new relationships and better understand ourselves and others. You can explore by learning a new skill with Lynda.com, taking a tour of uptown Charlotte or visiting a park you’ve never been to before.
Playtime may seem like “downtime” for the brain, but there is a lot of learning happening. We are communicating with others, reading body language, and practicing physical movement, patience and understanding. And when your children play with you, they are also learning – that they are loved, important and fun to be around. Try visiting a playground, taking a walk on a greenway or playing a board game.
Not only does it feel good to give, but there are also many learning benefits to giving. Giving provides opportunities to meet and share expertise, learn new skills and understand and develop empathy for others. Studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel physically healthier and lowers stress. Try giving in different ways, like: donating your fine waiver to another library customer, reading a book to someone special or volunteering to walk dogs at your local animal shelter.
Enjoy the rewards of a summer well spent. Summer Break runs June 1-August 14. Sign up now at summerbreak.cmlibrary.org.