The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Library and Summer Reading Program Help Children of All Abilities with Reading Skills

The libraries are especially busy this summer because some 11,000 children and teens are steaming through books as they rack up hours and incentives in the Summer Reading Program.

They’re having fun, but they’re also getting ready for school: The annual reading program keeps them in the learning mode so they’re up to speed in the fall. Teachers frequently tell our librarians that they can tell when a child has been reading all summer.

We’re proud that the library is an inclusive place for all children, and this summer we’re partnering with the Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks to promote the Library and the Summer Reading Program as welcoming for children of all abilities.

The group received a grant from Abilities First, a Greene County Resource Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, to conduct a “My Child Can Read” series to help parents of children with developmental and learning disabilities. Just as all library programs are open to everyone, this series is free and open to all parents and children.

On Tuesday, July 2, parents, caregivers and teachers who are helping children learn to read are invited to a peer mentoring group at 10 a.m. in the Library Center’s Harrison Room. Another one is planned at 6 p.m. July 18 in the Library Station’s Santa Fe Room. The sessions help support parents in learning new techniques and approaches for helping their child with developmental delays in learning how to read. An expert in teaching children will lead the sessions, and a reading tutor will be available to answer questions. Sessions are adults only; child care is not available.

Kids in preschool to grade 2 and parents are invited to “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!” sessions led by licensed music therapist Morgan Robertson from the Center for Music Therapy and Wellness. The next sessions are 1 p.m. July 9 at the Brentwood Branch Library, and 1 p.m. July 23 at the Willard Branch Library. The goal of the sessions is to help parents learn ways that music connects with language and reading development. Each session focuses on a favorite book and uses music to make the story sing.

To learn more about the work they’re doing, or about a My Child Can Read conference on Sept. 14, visit

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