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Summer Reading Grows Your Child's Mind!

Dig into Reading, is a flexible game designed for preschoolers through 6th graders. It combines reading and activity suggestions, along with three prize levels to provide extra motivation. Children who finish Dig into Reading win a t-shirt and get entered into a grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire!

Learning to read doesn't happen by osmosis. It is taught over time and built upon through stages. Summer reading is an important part of the process! Summer reading provides an opportunity for children to read for entertainment in a relaxed setting. Reading over the summer directly impacts children's cognitive skills, increases their vocabulary, and helps to motivate them. Denise Rehmke, Library Coordinator for the Iowa City Community School District, notes, “We encourage all families to make time for reading year-round, but particularly in the summer, so that children stay in the habit of reading, increasing literacy, fostering the love of reading, and keeping them on track for better academic performance when they return to school in August.”

Participating in the Library's summer reading program, Dig into Reading, is an excellent way to help your elementary school child practice reading skills over the summer and prevent the “summer slide,” or the loss of skills over summer break. Superintendent Stephen Murley recommends it: “The Iowa City Community School District supports the Iowa City Public Library's summer reading program and encourages all students to keep reading this summer.”

Jump to activities and events:
For the Whole Family
For Preschoolers
For School-Aged Kids
For Tweens (Ages 10,11, & 12)

For the Whole Family

Children's Day!
Saturday, June 8, 10-3
City Plaza Ped Mall

Celebrate the Iowa Arts Festival's 30th Anniversary at this annual childre's festival produced by ICPL with Summer of the Arts. Get creative at one of the art activity booths or enjoy a show on the Family Stage. With live performances, arts and crafts, and Planting Day for ICPL's Children Garden, there's something for everyone!

MusicIC Presents!
Sun., June 16, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

From stories to music, hear Goodnight Moon, Pecos Bill, and Ferdinand the Bull in a whole new way, with musical renditions by MusicIC.

The Cinderella Files
Sat., July 13, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

MADCAP Puppets presents the hilarious fractured fairy tale of what would happen if Cinderella's fairy godmother went on vacation.

Dan Wardell's Reading Road Trip
Thurs., July 25, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Meeting Room A

IPTV Kids Clubhouse star Dan Wardell digs into some of his favorite stories.

For Preschoolers

Can You Dig It? Archaeology Fun!
Thursday, June 6, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

Listen to stories, grind corn, and make a rock art drawing.

Building and Construction Fun
Thursday, June 13, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

Children's Librarian, Kathy, will read stories about building and construction and then preschoolers will have a chance to build with Lincoln Logs provided by the library. Lincoln Logs will not go home with children but are a permanent part of the Children's Room toys.

Digging Dinosaurs with Carolyn Richard
Thursday, June 20, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

The Dinosaur Lady is back with her full-scale T Rex head, dino models, fossils, mini museum, and the scoop on the latest fossil finds. With artist and paleontologist Carolyn Richard.

The Music of Dino O'Dell
Thursday, June 27, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

Dig for delicious worms, swim in peanut butter, and hike to an underground filled with fossils and dinosaurs with the guitar-playing maestro.

Critter Capers with Brad Freidhof
Thursday, July 11, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

What's that crawling under Brad's shirt? Come find out as the naturalist shares fun facts, hands-on activities, and up-close-and personal contact with local critters.

The Music of Adam Hartig
Thursday, July 18, 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Room A

It's happy feet time when Adam and friends are in the house. With toe-tapping, high energy guitar and piano music guaranteed to tickle your funny bone.

For School-Aged Kids

Wii Gaming on Wednesdays
Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m.
Storytime Room

Join us in the Storytime Room for Wii Gaming every Wednesday starting 2:00!

R.E.A.D. Read to a Dog! Therapy Dogs of Johnson County
Sundays, June 2 & July 7, 2-4 p.m.
Storytime Room

School-age readers are welcome to come read aloud to trained therapy dogs for 15 minutes on a first come, first served basis. Sign up, read, and win a prize book. Sponsored by the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County.

A World of Dance, City Ballet of IA & Smitha Khullar
Thursday June 6, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Travel around the world and back again with City Ballet of Iowa followed by basic steps of Bollywood dance with Smitha Khullar.

Water Carnival with the Iowa City Fire Department
Thursday June 13, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Cool down at ICPL's annual wet and wonderful carnival co-sponsored by the Iowa City Fire department. Don't miss the ever-popular fire extinguisher pod game. fire engine, and water activities guaranteed to cool you off on a hot day. In case of rain, a program will take place in Room A.

Digging Dinosaurs with artist and paleontologist Carolyn Richard
Thursday June 20, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

The Dinosaur Lady is back with her full-scale T Rex head, dino models, fossils, mini museum, and the scoop on the latest fossil finds. With artist and paleontologist Carolyn Richard.

Reptile Wrangling with Torben Platt of Witty Kitties
Thursday June 27, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Join the critter wizard from Witty Kitties as he grapples with alligator Lex Luther (who gets bigger every year)and a giant Burmese python. learn about the scaly cast of exotic creatures who needed to be rescued.

Mad Science with the Hawk-Eyes on Science
Thursday July 11, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

The zany scientist from the U of I department of Physics and Astronomy return with knock-your-socks off experiments with lasers, electricity, and 3D wonders. There will be explosions!

Night at the Museum Party with the Museum of Natural History
Thursday July 18, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

It's spine-tingling fun when Sarah Horgen of the Museum of Natural History clues us in on the science of archaeology.

Creations with a Twist w/ balloon master Daniel Poe
Thursday July 25, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Balloon master Daniel Poe delights all with his awesome balloon art. Audience members dress up in balloon costumes and act out funny stories as part of the "Dig Up a Good Book" show.

For Tweens (Ages 10,11, & 12)

Sneak Peek of Shrek
Monday, June 10, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Get a preview of City Circle's production of Shrek: The Musical, starring local teen singers and actors. Then watch Shrek, the movie. Refreshments provided.

Tweens on TV: Be a star!
Monday, June 17, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

You'll have 60 seconds to tell the world about a book you loved. Bring the book and share why you enjoyed it. You'll be video-taped for the library channel and ICPL's YouTube channel! Written parental permission required.

Sign Language for Tweens
Monday, June 24, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Learn about American Sign Language and practice some simple signs in this introductory class with an ASL expert. Books on signing will be available for check-out.

Cool Crafts with Casey
Monday, July 1, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Get creative and help protect the planet! Repurpose recycled materials to create new things. All materials provided.

Scott's Gardening Basics
Monday, July 8, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Come learn more about organic gardening, composting, growing your own food, and saving the earth at this hands-on program with Scott Koepke, Soilmates Education Outreach Coordinator at New Pioneer Food Co-op.

The Art of Illustration
Monday, July 15, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Calling tween artists! Come draw with published book illustrators Claudia McGehee and Jennifer Black Reinhardt and get tips from the pros. Art supplies provided.

Yoga for Tweens
Monday, July 22, 2 p.m.
Meeting Room A

Fun*Focus*Flexibility: Strengthen your body, relieve stress, and gain flexibility while having tons of fun with Dana Robinson of Sweet Feet Yoga. Wear clothing comfortable for exercise.


Book Babies
Fridays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Storytime Room

An active, participatory program for our youngest patrons, intended to stimulate language development.

Toddler Times
Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.
Storytime Room

An interactive storytime for toddlers, filled with bounces and rhymes, stories and songs.

Stories in the Park
June 5 - July 26
Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Willow Creek Park
Fridays, 10:30 a.m., Mercer Park

Stories in the sunshine for preschoolers, in cooperation with the Iowa City Parks & Recreation Department. Rainy day relocations at the Storytime Room at ICPL.

Sensory Storytimes
June 1, July 6 and August 3 (First Saturday of every month), 1:30 p.m.
Storytime Room

Designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, or other developmental disabilities, along with their friends or siblings. An adult must accompany each child with special needs.

Babies & Toddlers        Teen        Adult