Sac Library Wants to Show How “Reading is So Delicious” This Summer

Write a cookbook. Make a pizza. Learn cooking techniques.

This is literally just a taste of the bounty of programs the Sacramento Public Library has put together for its annual summer reading program.

This year’s theme is “Reading is So Delicious,” which ties in literacy skills with helping kids and adults learn about food and nutrition in a fun way, says Christie Hamm, manager of youth and community services for the Sacramento Public Library. Plus, Hamm says, the theme ties in with the local eating culture of Sacramento with its community of growers and foodies. “It’s a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the cultural heritage, the opportunities, the different businesses and growers and history that we have in this area,” she adds.

Additionally, programs that teach how to read a recipe, for instance, show how literacy is an important life-long skill, says Donna Zick, youth services librarian at Belle Cooledge Library in Land Park. “The literacy part of it is so relevant in so many aspects of their lives, and there are some very direct applications here with cooking, (which are) skills you’re going to need for your whole life,” she explains.

And taking part in a summer reading program helps kids be better prepared for the return to school in the fall, says Tracey Joe, youth services librarian at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library. “Studies have shown that you need to read at least four to five books over the summer to prevent ‘summer slide’ — the set back kids get when they come back from summer vacation and they’re trying to pick up where they left off in school,” she explains.

Feast On This!
One of the signature programs at library branches this summer is the “Kids Can Cook” series, which Hamm says is through a partnership with California Food Literacy, “where they talk about nutrition and health facts, they read a story, and then either lead kids in a tasting or they’ll get some recipes.”

An example of a program in this series includes “The Little Red Hen (Makes Pizza),” where kids will get to listen to a story, make pizza dough from scratch, and get to taste pizza with veggies. “The Little Red Hen (Makes Pizza)” will be at the Arcade Library on June 20, Carmichael Library on June 26, Pocket Library on July 11, and Ella K. McClatchy Library on July 13.

Another highlight for kids is the “Hungry As a Bear for Books!” Puppet Show with ventriloquist puppeteer Tony Borders, where kids get to learn about Gladly the Grizzly who is packing his magic picnic basket with surprising foods and delicious books. This program comes to the Pocket Library on June 15, Arden-Dimick Library on June 25, Arcade Library on July 13, and Belle Cooledge Library on July 31.

There’s also lots of teens to do during summer reading. At Belle Cooledge Library, teens and tweens can learn how to cook Asian and Mexican cuisine through a partnership with the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. Zick says participants will learn about seasonal produce, how to follow recipes, basic food preparation techniques, and food presentation. “Just some basic things to add to their skills set,” she adds. Asian cuisine will be held on June 28, and Mexican cuisine on July 19.

Dig In!
Remember – summer reading is not just for kids, but for adults, too!

Hamm says summer reading can help give adults an opportunity to “unplug” and find time to read for fun. “Also when kids see adults reading, you model for them good behaviors that they’ll repeat,” she adds. “For parents it’s an opportunity to model those skills that kids can pick up on and will have benefits down the line.”

Over in Land Park, Belle Cooledge Library is offering a “Whip Up a Cookbook” program for adults this summer. Zick says it’s a six part series of workshops where at the end, attendees will end up creating a family cookbook. The program features a number of speakers and teachers overseen by Maryellen Burns, local food historian, editor, and author of Lost Restaurants of Sacramento and Their Recipes. The workshops will be held June 15 and 22, July 13 and 20, and August 10 and 24 from 11am-12:30pm. No registration is required, however, there may be a list of materials for each class — visit for more information.

And in the Arden area, at Arden-Dimick Library learn how to turn your favorite food memories and boxes of recipes into a family cookbook at “Recipes and Remembrances” on June 22, and on July 20 adults can learn about the music and dance of the Hawaiian Islands and taste sweet treats from the Islands at “Aloha, Hawaii! with the Ohana Dance Group.”

“Reading is So Delicious”

This year’s reading program runs from June 1 through August 31. Kids and adults can sign up any at library branch location or online at Participants are given an activity sheet and those that complete them are eligible for a prize — kids and teens receive a free book, while adults receive a reusable book bag. And all are put in a drawing to win an iPad Mini (one per age group) or $100 Target gift card (one per library location.)

For more information on the summer reading program and a full list of events, visit

One Response to Sac Library Wants to Show How “Reading is So Delicious” This Summer

  1. On screen: Lancel starred as Frank Foster in Coronation Street

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