Joeten-Kiyu Public Library staff members pose for a photo with Tan Siu Lin Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino, fifth left, and assistant manager Raymond Zapanta, left, after receiving the donated gift bags for the JKPL Summer Reading Program Package-to-Go late last month at the TSLF office in Garapan.

(Press Release) — The Tan Siu Lin Foundation donated 152 gift bags to the Joeten Kiyu Public Library last May 25 in support of JKPL’s free summer reading program that aims to encourage children, teens, and adults in the CNMI to read and retain their reading skills.

The gift bags include a shirt, a stuffed animal toy, and a mug which will be used for weekly prizes for children who submit completed activities, most books read, teens for fiction writing, raffle prizes, and more.

“We graciously extend an un dangkulo na si Yuús Maáse to the Tan Siu Lin Foundation for their generous donation of 152 goodie bags filled with awesome swag for the 2021 Joeten-Kiyu Public Library Summer Reading Program Package-to-Go. These prizes will help our children feel proud about their summer reading accomplishments,” JKPL library director Erlinda C. Naputi said. She added that the program’s theme this year is “Tails and Tales.”

Tan Siu Lin Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino said the foundation is honored to be part of a program that is committed to the continued education of our community members, especially young students.

Through JKPL’s program, students can avoid the “summer slide” or a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that happens when school isn’t in session. According to Naputi, during the summer, children and teens who aren't reading or participating in other learning activities can lose up to two months of academic skills achieved during the school year.

“Children who see their parents and other adults in their lives reading tend to read more and build healthy reading habits. We want our children to achieve their reading goals and feel proud of what they have accomplished. The Summer Reading Program is one way we encourage everyone in the CNMI to value the importance of reading and access to information,” Naputi said.

JKPL technical services librarian Beth B. Demapan said the program will be available on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota and is open to the first 300 registered participants by category with priorities to underserved and underprivileged children.

In compliance with Covid-19 protocols, JKPL launched its Summer Reading Program Package-to-Go last year with the theme “Imagine Your Story.” The packages included school supplies, face masks, hand sanitizers, books and learning activities to keep families occupied while avoiding the summer slide. JKPL distributed 1,869 packages-to-go to more than 600 participants in all three islands from July 2020 to August 2020.

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