GLEN RIDGE, NJ — kSTEM and community service are being highlighted in the reading program for children at the Glen Ridge Public Library this summer. “Build a Better World” is the theme for the program, and as of Friday, June 30, 64 children, ages 2 to 4, had signed up, according to Sydney Young, head of children’s services at the library.
Most of the students who have registered are in the kindergarten to fifth-grade range. Young said there were already 218 children registered in this grouping. In the teenage range, from grade six to 12, 30 students are signed. But the program, which began June 12, runs until Aug. 11.
Young said the program tries to stress reading — what the child wants to read and not what they are told to read.
“It becomes too much like school,” she said of dictating what should be read.
There are a few new features this summer. For students in grades four to 12, an online software called Beanstalk can be used to log in what books have been read. Another addition is a library pool day, at the community pool.
This is on Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission for those with a library card. The rain date for pool day is Thursday, Aug. 10.
From 3 to 5 p.m., on Wednesday afternoons during July, the library will offer STEAM activities. STEAM is the updated acronym for STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with the addition of A for art.
During Wednesdays in July, engineering will be highlighted. There will be labyrinth activities, and on successive weeks, tower, bridge and house building. LEGOS, from noon to 4 p.m., happen on Fridays in July. For the youngest children, on Tuesdays there will be cup stacking, toothpick bridges and house of cards fun. A child, however, does not need to be registered in the reading program to take part in these activities.
Each week during July will also have a toy construction systems highlighted. The weeks are marked off by Legos, blocks, K’nex, Lincoln logs and Tinker Toys.
In the reading program, there will also be raffle drawings for children who read a certain number of picture or chapter books because although the children are not being told what to read they are being challenged.
For ages 2 to pre-K, if 25 picture books are read, the child, while supplies last, gets a picture book. For kindergarten to third grade, 25 books or 500 pages and five book reports complete the challenge. Increments of five books or 100 pages, once completed, permits the child to receive a raffle ticket. Completing the challenge, and the child is entered into a drawing for a Kindle Fire. Incremental raffle tickets are good for free admission to the Liberty Science Center or a gift certificate at the Watchung Booksellers.
Grades four and five, the challenge is 500 pages and five book reviews. Raffle tickets are awarded on increments of 100 pages. Five book reviews are required to complete the summerlong challenge. Finishing the challenge will allow a student to be in the grand prize drawing of a Kindle Fire.
For the teen grades, six to 12, 1,000 pages of reading and five book reviews meet the summer program challenge. Raffle tickets are received after each 200 pages read. The five reviews earn the reader admission to pizza/movie night at the library. Completion of the entire challenge, and the student is entered into a raffle for Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones.