Salinians Staying Sharp: More than 1,500 Sign Up for Reading Program

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 06/17/2013 - 17:29

With school out for summer, more than 1,500 Saline area residents signed up to make sure their brains don’t go into hibernation.

Residents, young and old, attended the celebratory Summer Reading Program kickoff at the Saline District Library Sunday.

They visited with children’s’ book characters Toad and Frog, listened to live music, ate ice cream from the Saline Lions Club wagon, played games, made crafts and signed out books. Lots and lots of books.

“It’s the busiest day of the year,” said Leslee Niethammer, Director of the Saline District Library.

Mayor Brian Marl was one of many in attendance. He commended the library staff for going “the extra mile” to make a difference Saline. Marl noted that his mother, an elementary school teacher, raves about the Summer Reading Program.

“She writes a note at the bottom of the report cards, encouraging parents to have their children participate in the Saline District Library’s Summer Reading Program,” Marl said.

And for good reason, Niethammer said.

“Kids who stop reading during the summer can lose two months of progress. And then they spend two months in the fall trying to catch up,” Niethammer said. “It’s very important, educationally, to stay sharp. Besides, we make it a lot of fun.”

The library incentivizes reading by awarding prizes for readers who reach certain goals. There are also free drawings and special events throughout the summer.

And not just for kids.

The Summer Reading Program is open to people of all ages.

Becky Shark registered her children, Sophia and Spencer, for the program.

“Spencer is a good reader. He just completed kindergarten and I want him to continue to be a good reader,” said Shark, who said her children also enjoyed the library’s Storytime programs. “I want to keep him from sliding over the summer and keep his reading skills up.”

Stephanie and Lee Sellenraad registered their daughters, Josie and Mackenzie, in the Two Twelve Arts programs at the library.

“Art is important to teach kids about creativity and life,” Stephanie said.

“And about using their imagination,” Lee added.

For more about the Saline District Library’s Summer Reading program, visit


Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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