“Reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative. By the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a two-year lag in reading achievement.”
- Missouri State Library
Thanks to the resourcefulness of a couple of enterprising librarians at the Carnegie Public Library in Marceline—and the cooperation of Marceline R-5 and generosity of a couple of local civic groups—reading in Disney’s boyhood home won’t take the summer off this year. Although the Marceline Public Library would have continued to operate throughout the summer months, staffing issues would have made the school library inaccessible this summer.
Part of the challenge of encouraging literacy is making certain a wide variety of appropriate books is available year-round, and part involves providing the feedback necessary to aid budding readers with pronunciation and meaning. As the result of a successful grant application submitted by Shelly Herring and Joyce Clapp at the Marceline Public Library, both challenges will be met, and there will continue to plentiful opportunities for children to read throughout the summer.
The pair of librarians applied to the Missouri State Library, Office of Secretary of State, for a federally funded grant in the amount of $4,748. Those funds will provide staffing for Marceline R-5’s library for half the day, and the other half of the day the 450 K-12 students enrolled in Marceline’s Summer Reading Program will spend quality time reading and enjoying reading-related programs at the Marceline Public Library. Those programs will feature performers who will engage the reading program participants with some novel but enriching entertainment. For instance, on June 5 Leonardo will be on hand at the Public Library to present a “humorous, high-energy musical program” to the fourth through eighth grade reading program participants. Leonardo’s presentation will be ‘highly interactive,’ as the energized performer gets his audience in on the act by encouraging them to sing along and demonstrate their best dance moves, all in a way to encourage reading. As Herring explains, “Leonardo literally turns books into song.”
Then on June 10, comedian, puppeteer, ventriloquist, and illusionist Chris McBrien will make two appearances at the Public Library: one during the afternoon for K-8 students in the summer reading program, and again during that evening with a program for the whole family. During his evening performance, McBrien will emphasize reading together as a family activity. His program, called “Read to Succeed,” is widely regarded as “one of the best reading and writing assemblies ever created.”
On June 12, Jamesport’s Peter and Debbie Allen, otherwise known as the Parasol Puppeteers, will use marionettes to demonstrate their ability to enable the characters described in story to jump right off of the pages where they were born and developed. With the intent to make storytellers of us all, the Allens will show the youngsters in attendance how to discover the full meaning of a story and make it come to life with simple puppets kindergarten through third graders can make themselves.
On June 17, the live entertainment portion of Marceline’s summer reading program will conclude with a visit from Mark Twain’s immortal characters Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. Although the original idea was to take students in grades four and five to Hannibal, the characters who regularly perform in Twain’s boyhood home are now scheduled to visit the Marceline Public Library.