The Saturday edition of the Moscow Pullman Daily News carries a regular column contributed by one of these five area libraries: Latah County Library District; Neill Public Library; University of Idaho; Whitman County Library District; and Washington State University Libraries. We reprint the most recent columns here, with permission.

There are oceans of possibilities for avoiding the dreaded summer slide


By Stacie Echanove and Mason Neil

School is out and summer is here, and we’re gearing up for our favorite time of the year — summer reading. This season is also known for the summer slide, our not-so-favorite term for the loss of hard-earned literacy skills experienced by young readers during summer vacation. The summer slide might sound like a good time, but can lead to students feeling frustrated and unprepared when they return to school in the fall.

Fortunately, summer reading is back once again with even more in-person programs, to-go activities and prizes to fill your reading with fun and festivities. This year’s theme is “Oceans of Possibilities,” and the program will run Monday through July 27 at all locations of the Latah County Library District.

Starting Monday, participants of all ages can register at any branch in Latah County to begin their summer reading journey. Upon sign up, you’ll receive a reusable book bag with all the goods you need to complete up to three summer reading challenges: 10 days of reading, a bingo on our activity sheet and then a bingo blackout.

Each part of summer reading comes with the chance to win cool prizes. Begin by reading for 10 days — read as much or as little as you want, and take as long as you need. Once you’ve completed this first challenge, you can start filling in your summer reading bingo sheet of reading and summer related activities. If you complete a bingo (five activities in a row), our most daring readers can then attempt finishing every challenge on your sheet — what we call a bingo blackout.

When you’ve completed any of these three challenges, you can come to the library to report your progress. Each challenge completion counts as a grand prize entry, and you’ll also receive incentive prizes with every report you submit.

Prizes aren’t the only fun parts of summer reading. We’ll also have lots of engaging programs and activities to help celebrate summer. At the Moscow branch, we’ll be hosting programs with the renowned Reptile Man, Scott Peterson, the Extreme Scientist, Radical Rick, and silly songs with Eric Herman and Puppy Dog Dave.

The Moscow Library also will be teaming up with the city of Moscow arts department to bring you Entertainment in the Park. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and meet us at East City Park at 6 p.m. June 30 and July 7 for an evening of music and lively literacy celebration. The program will begin with a joyful storytime before we will welcome our guest performers. You can find more information about Entertainment in the Park at

Not in Moscow this summer? No problem. There’s even more fun to be had at the six other locations of the Latah Library District, with programs happening in Bovill, Deary, Genesee, Juliaetta, Potlatch and Troy throughout June and July. Watch for exciting programs including Juice Box and Paint in both Deary and Bovill, tie-dying in Troy, button making in Juliaetta, a performance of Carmen and the Bull by Northwest Opera in Potlatch, Reptile Man in Genesee and so much more.

Every week of summer reading will have an activity for school-age readers throughout the district. If we’re not hosting an in-person event, then you’ll be able to find passive or to-go library programs, including fan favorite, Fairyopolis, as well as to-go STEM activities. You can stay in the loop with all summer events by following the Latah County Library District on Facebook, and checking our events calendar We can’t wait to see you this summer. It’s going to be a splash!


Echanove is youth services manager and Neil is outgoing adult services manager for the Latah County Library District.