December 1, 2021

It’s one for the books

Cortland library fetes end of summer reading program

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Rogue Sound lead singer and Homer sophomore Logan Smith performs for the year-end Libraries Rock summer reading celebration Saturday at the Cortland Free Library.

For 7-year-olds Lincoln Dorsett and Liam Madden, a friendly little competition is to see who can read the most books during the Cortland Free Public Library’s summer reading program.

While playing Twister at the end of the summer reading party on Saturday, Madden said he read anywhere from 20 to 30 and Dorsett said he was right in that realm, too.

For more than 10 years, the Cortland Free Library has been hosting a summer reading program and keeping kids reading during the summer. This year, around 320 kids took part in the program, said youth service librarian Tammy Sickmon.

The numbers breakdown like this:
• Kids under 12 logged 192,137 reading minutes.
• Those between 12 and 18 read 99,425 pages.

This year, like last year, the library incorporated an incentive with the SUNY Cortland Red Dragon football team for logging 1,000 or more minutes. “The kids are invited out onto the football field at the first game,” Sickmon said. This year, 101 students read over 1,000 minutes.

Both Madden and Dorsett were part of that group.

Madden said his favorite book was “Dog Man and Cat Kid,” a graphic novel. However, he is also a sport fanatic. He really loves baseball.

“I like hitting things with bats,” he said.

He also likes learning about people.

Dorsett’s favorite books are part of the “Magic Tree House” series.

“I like it because there’s lots of different people and it’s about other things back in the olden days,” Dorsett said.

Dorsett said reading about history is the most interesting topic to him and even offered a fact about the Civil War, which he just finished reading about.

“Abraham Lincoln decided he wanted to go to war for freedom and liberty,” he said.

Rianna Sickmon, left, and Sadie Marshall, 7, right, improvise a song on a synthesizer Saturday during the year-end Libraries Rock summer reading celebration at the Cortland Free Library.

Emily Tice, 10, said of the 16 books she read over the summer the best one was “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.” It’s a book about Star Wars, but the characters are origami.

“I love Star Wars,” she said. As for reading, Tice said it’s just something she likes doing. “If I find a book I like, then I want to read more of them.”

Studies show that students who read more, read better; they also write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions, according to the state Education Department.

Sickmon said reading will always be a part of people’s lives.

“It makes school easier and you gain more confidence in reading and yourself,” she said.