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Getting Kids to Read Over the Summer

The city's library offers outdoor performances to help encourage children to spend some of their vacation time with a book.

The 's children's library and the have been promoting a series of "Wacky Wednesday" events in an effort to get more kids to read while school is out.

“Study after study has shown how important it is for children to keep up their reading skills during summer vacation,” Library Services Manager Marilyn Taniguchi said. “We encourage kids to read anything they like—even comic books. We try to help them discover that reading is fun.”

Comedian and juggler Fantastic Patrick handled spinning plates, clubs and a Chinese yo-yo in the Civic Center Plaza this week to promote the library's Summer Reading Club program. He concluded his show by juggling swords while riding a 10-foot tall unicycle.

“All of our outdoor programs have been very popular, with each drawing about 100 people,” Taniguchi said. “It’s just a nice, informal setting where families can come for a free program.”

Other entertainers who performed at the library’s Wacky Wednesday events include singer/songwriter Zak Morgan, magician Bruce Perovich and the folk dance company GYPSY.

Children who participate in the club are asked to read at least eight books over the summer.

“We give them positive reinforcement just by encouraging them, but we also give them other incentives like a folder and a book bag,” Taniguchi said. “At the end of the summer when they have read eight books and told us about them, they get to come in and choose a free paperback to take home that’s theirs to keep.”

For information about the Summer Reading Club, call 310-288-2211 or visit the library’s website.

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