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Diving into summer reading

Boys & Girls Club of Auburn having fun with books
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Reading’s a lot more fun when nobody tells you that you’ve got to do it. Boys & Girls Club of Auburn members are diving into all sorts of books this summer. It’s not for extra credit, it’s not due to summer school. “The whole goal this summer is reading for pleasure,” said Jana Iversen, Boys & Girls Club of Auburn director of programs and training. The Boys & Girls Club of Auburn recently received a grant through The Walmart Foundation’s Bright Spot for Reading initiative and used it to spruce up the Mullin & McAdams Clubhouse’s existing reading area with colorful lamps, framed posters and lots of bean bags. “It was some re-arranging and using some of the things we had to create an atmosphere where it was fun to hang out,” Iversen said. The Boys & Girls Club has also kicked off a new partnership with the Placer County Library. Sophie Bruno, Placer County Library youth services librarian, brings books over from the library weekly. The library books, which get their own bookcase, supplement the Boys & Girls Club’s book collection. “I can really bring anything and it’ll pique someone’s interest,” Bruno said. “This is one opportunity they get every week to see the library and they get to associate it with fun.” Iversen and Bruno both said the kids’ response to the upgraded reading room has exceeded their expectations. “The first thing they ask when they get here is, ‘What time is reading club?’” Iversen said. Reading time became such a popular daily activity that the Boys & Girls Club created multiple age-specific time windows for reading throughout the week. Allison Judd, 9, is a big fan of summer reading at the Boys & Girls Club. “I like to sit down in the bean bag chairs and read,” she said. “It calms me down. I read whenever I get mad at my brother.” Holden Rountree, 12, appreciates reading time as one of the more mellow parts of a typically action-packed day at the Boys & Girls Club. “It’s pretty much the only quiet place you can find during the day, and it’s comfortable,” he said. Katrina Ludwigsen, a Boys & Girls Club youth development specialist, gets a kick out of seeing so many of the club members taking books off of the shelves. “We’re teaching them how to enjoy literature, to enjoy reading,”?she said. “It’s very open for them to choose what they want to do and how they want to read.”