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Editorial: Summer reading is a good way to beat the summertime blues

Though Eddie Cochran sang otherwise, in Longview there really is a cure for the summertime blues — and it’s not just kid’s stuff, either.

The Longview Public Library last week kicked off its Summer Reading Club, a series based in reading but that really is so much more.

The six-week program — which will also end with a party — includes story times in English and Spanish, performers, movies, crafts, Legos play and family fun night. There’s a lot of activities crammed into those six weeks and, literally, something happens every single day except Sundays.

The best part of this for parents is that the activities won’t cost you anything extra. That is not something parents are accustomed to hearing. Most worthwhile summer activities come complete with a hefty price tag.

But this is one that is made possible through the taxpayers of Longview and we cannot imagine a much better summer gift for all children.

Don’t let the kids know, but a great deal of it is learning disguised as fun. It cannot help but benefit the educational system either, by keeping children engaged in learning through much of the summer.

These are not typical classroom activities, obviously, but that doesn’t mean learning isn’t involved. Education is best served as a dish of ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

The hope is that when actual school does begin again in a few months, the children will be able to get back to class seamlessly without missing a beat. In our view, whatever can be done to help further education is worthwhile.

In the past two years more than 2,000 youngsters have shown up to take part in the program, which tells us that it reaches its goal of being fun.

After nine months of class, children are entitled to some entertainment but we suggest the time be spent in an activity that finds a way to combine fun with education. Teachers don’t always have the opportunity to do that and learning is not always a joy ride. Some of it requires buckling down and studying.

There will be no studying — or homework — associated with the summer reading club but it will still be a good educational opportunity.

We encourage the community to join us in offering many thanks to the library staff for the effort put into making this program better every year. It is a great deal of hard work and just one of the things that keeps the library relevant in changing times.

By the way, there’s also an adult summer reading club, because you are never too old to learn something new — and you ought to have a little fun yourself.

Today's Bible verse

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Psalms 63:1

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