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Written by Kelly Sheehy, Content Specialist, Main Library & Angela Hursh, Content Team Leader, Main Library

For as much as kids love their summertime away from school and free from the confines of a classroom, their brains often don’t. Many kids fall behind on math and reading skills during the summer, particularly if they are not exposed to learning opportunities. This is especially true for kids in under-served communities. 

This phenomenon, known by educators as the “summer slide” means that kids from these communities are more likely to be two or three years behind their peers in their educational development by the time they reach fifth grade. 

We created Summer Adventure as a way to bridge the learning gap for all children in Hamilton County. Our Librarians spend months setting up events, creating a curriculum, picking out prizes, and hiring and training staff. So to top it all off, we’ve rounded up just a few of the reasons why we think kids will love what this year's Summer Adventure has in store.

Earn awesome prizes  
Starting June 1, go to any Library location to get started on your Summer Adventure. On your first visit, you’ll receive a passport, a free book, a coupon for Coney Island, and a scratch card that will reveal your first check-in prize.

Visit the Library weekly to check-in, show your progress, and get a new scratch card. Prizes include free books, coupons to local businesses and organizations, tickets for area attractions and more! Just keep in mind there is a limit of one prize per person per visit. 

Go beyond books

Summer Adventure goes a step beyond the traditional summer reading program of decades past in order to make summer fun and give kids support so they’re ready for school in the fall. 

Use your passport to track not only your reading but also any summer activities you engage in. We encourage reading at least 20 minutes a day, and the rest of the activities are up to you! Did you catch a Reds game? Record it in your passport. Go for a hike and identify the wildlife you saw along the way? Record it in your passport. By going beyond books, any summer activity can be transformed into a learning opportunity. 

Tour the universe 

Just one of the many hands-on activities that will be offered at the Library throughout the summer, the STEAM Adventures: Space Cadet allows kids to explore the wonders of space through a variety of activities. We’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with activities developed as part of the NASA @ My Library initiative.  

These fun events focus on space, science, and astronomy. They include interactive learning for small groups, divided by age: Grades 1 and 2, and Grades 3 through 5. They happen at all Library locations and last 90 minutes. Advanced registration is required. 

Another opportunity for space exploration is NASA @ My Library: Space Day. Through virtual reality and crafts, this free event is also part of the NASA @ My Library grant initiative and doesn’t require advanced registration. It will take place at the Walnut Hills Branch, Madeira Branch, Harrison Branch, and Main Library. See website for dates and times.

Prevent the summer slide 

Keep kids' brains active throughout the summer with Brain Camps and Adventure Labs. These interactive events last one week at the branch Libraries and are geared to children in Grades 1-5. Activities are STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). There are eight Brain Camps at the Main Library and these camps are for children of varying ages. Advanced registration is required. 

Adventure Lab and Jr. Adventure Labs are new events designed for kids who might not have access to summer camp or learning opportunities. They’re divided by age: Grades 1-5 can attend Jr. Adventure Lab and Grades 6-8 can attend Adventure Lab. 

Have a summer filled with fun

No matter what parts of Summer Adventure you decide to take part in, one thing is certain: kids will have the opportunity to make new friends, explore their world, and grow their minds, all while having a good time doing it. We hope you’ll join us!

Find out everything you need to know about Summer Adventure at Adventure.

Registrations will open four weeks (or 28 days exactly) before each event, to the minute. So, if a Brain Camp is scheduled for June 5 at 2 p.m., registration will begin on May 8 at 2 p.m. You can see when registration opens for each event by clicking on the Brain Camp or STEAM Adventure program you are interested in. The registration open date will be included in the event information. 

The NASA @ My Library project is led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Partners include the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, Pacific Science Center, Cornerstone of Science, and Education Development Center. NASA @ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate as part of its STEM Activation program. 

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