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Norwin reading program focuses on science, math

| Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 12:18 p.m.

The summer reading program that kicks off this week at the Norwin Public Library promises to be packed with fun activities to keep children sharp while they are out of school.

“The goal this summer, as it has been in previous years, is to encourage a love for reading, for children to have fun and to help avoid the ‘drag' that can happen when kids don't read over the summer,” said Diana Falk, the library's director.

“We're not trying to recreate a classroom, but we do want to help kids stay in touch with what's happening at school,” she said. “So we encourage children to come to the library and select material that they are interested in.”

The “drag” to which Falk referred is a regression in the classrooms skills that many children experience when they're out of school on summer break, according to a number of education studies.

The library also has boosted the number of children's e-books in its collection to make it easier for those who can't attend the reading program obtain materials.

In January, Norwin library representatives joined with some of their Westmoreland counterparts and the coordinators of the Math and Science Collaborative that was developed at the Carnegie Science Center to learn how the new Pennsylvania Core Standards can be integrated into library programs.

Barbara Flynn, the children's librarian at the Norwin library, said the program she developed for this summer's reading program helps incorporate science into reading.

“Working with the ‘Fizz, Boom, Read!' theme ... not only opens up a world of experiences to Norwin's kids but also jump-starts their creativity and encourages reading many different types of materials,” she said.

Flynn said popular fiction series such as the “Magic Tree House” by Mary Pope Osborne have nonfiction tie-ins.

“So if a child loves ‘Dolphins at Daybreak,' they may also enjoy learning more about the topic with ‘Dolphins and Sharks: A Nonfiction Companion to ‘Tonight on The Titanic,''” she said. “It's very exciting to be able to present many fun programs with this science theme and encourage kids to find books that speak to them, whatever their interests might be.”

Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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