Books, pizza, music and awards during Village Book Center summer program

ARKPORT — “Libraries Rock” is the theme of this year’s Arkport Summer Reading Program, with generous helpings of books, music, prizes and pizza planned for participants.

According to Book Center director Cathy Smith, the fun and excitement gets underway June 27 with program registration beginning at the Village Book Center, 2 East Ave. Starting the week of July 11, participants will begin reporting on the books they have read.

Educators stress the importance of consistent reading especially during the months that schools are not in session to avoid the “summer slide.”

“Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline,” warns HomeRoom, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education.

The blog continues, “This effect becomes more pronounced as students get older and advance through the school system. The situation for economically disadvantaged students is especially grim: if students from low-income families don’t read over the summer, they are much more likely to fall behind their more privileged peers, widening the “‘achievement gap.’”

Last summer, 41 youngsters participated in the Arkport Summer Reading Program.

As participants rack up books read, the “Libraries Rock” theme will come alive with the presentation of three free concerts in the Arkport Village Park.

July 19: Allen Hopkins, a folk musician from Rochester, will entertain with guitar, banjo, mandolin, concertina, ukulele, harmonic and more.

July 26: Mike Kornich will perform a “rockin’ and frolickin’” show for children.

Aug. 2: Dave Ruch, who appeared as part of the program in 2016, returns with sing-along songs, guessing games, movement and laughter.

The concerts all begin at 10:15 a.m. The performances are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program, administered regionally by the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.

The last day of the reading program is Aug. 2. The reading numbers will be tallied and awards will be presented during a pizza party Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. in the Arkport Village Hall.