National Summer Learning Week Kicks off at WCPL

National Summer Learning Week Kicks off at WCPL

National Summer Learning Week got started with a lesson on Biodiversity on Monday morning at the Wayne County Public Library.

National Summer Learning Week is being celebrated in communities across the country this week. The Wayne County Public Library provides six weeks of high quality learning experiences throughout the summer. The library is also the lead for the local chapter of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading called READ Wayne.

On Monday morning, children, parents and family members participated in a lesson about Biodiversity led by library staff. The lesson taught children the importance of healthy gardens, and the types of animals, insects and plants that can positively or negatively affect the health of a garden. Children were also read the books “Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt,” and “This is the Tree We Planted.”

Following the indoor portion of the lesson, children, parents and family members were escorted outside to the library’s garden, for Garden Scavenger Hunt Bingo.

In attendance on Monday morning was North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Community Engagement Leader, Lisa Finaldi. Finaldi is the North Carolina Campaign for Grade Level Reading and the Family Forward NC Initiative Leader.

Finaldi and her colleague Lindsay Saunders, North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Marketing and Communications Leader, have selected Wayne County to highlight the great collaborative work taking place to keep young readers learning during the summer.

“I already knew that library here and the community were doing amazing work,” Finaldi said. “But, today I have learned so much about how the community values reading, and the diverse partners within (READ Wayne) that are making it happen. There are seamstresses contributing, pediatricians are contributing, schools and childcare centers. It’s really impressive to see so many people help children that have other learning needs get those met, and helping parents understand what’s possible, instead of treating a challenge that a child has as a deficit.”

Finaldi also pointed to the importance of summer learning programs and the integral role they play in keeping young minds stay sharp until school resumes.

“A lot of kids don’t have an opportunity to be in a program like this,” Finaldi said. “Sometimes you’re staying home with your older sister or brother, and while that’s a good thing, some of the opportunities for real learning are not happening. In the pandemic especially, we did see that a lot of kids need more support, especially in reading and math. In fact, some of the math scores were lower than the reading scores. Catching up completely is going to be tough, but these are the kinds of things that ensure kids have the best chance to catch up.”

The summer learning program continues through July 28. To learn more visit