Well-Read: Summer Reading Programs
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I would earn a sticker or a stamp to place on the chart for each book discussed (that's one of mine, below!). At the end of summer there would be a performance to attend if the reading goals were met. It was a show put on by a local theater group at the local high school, but to me it was like a Broadway production! As the evening concluded you would be presented with your chart, a reading club button and a ribbon to mark the completion of your summer reading commitment.
The beauty of summer reading programs
While so much has changed throughout the years, it’s refreshing to see that the summer reading programs at our RI libraries continue to flourish. There are summer reading programs for all ages! I spoke with Cheryl Space, Youth
To find out about everything that’s going on in RI, go here for links to your individual libraries. There are many performances, artists and educators that will be visiting various libraries throughout the state - check here for all scheduled activities. The trend is for the measure of summer reading to be amount of time spent reading, not the quantity of books read. This levels the playing field for those who would prefer to pick up a larger book, as reading can be a competitive sport!
"I'm bored!" "There's nothing to do!"
If you’ve already started hearing this from the little darlings, joining in with the summer reading programs is exactly what you’re looking for. With a good book, your kids will never be bored! Be a reading role model! Summer reading isn’t just for the kids. Pick up a book and I assure you, the kids will follow. Look beyond your local library. An added bonus of being from a small state is that you can travel around to the various libraries and participate in many programs and win more prizes!
Christine Kayal one of the children’s librarians at the Warwick Library tells me that this Saturday the 25th is their summer reading kick-off. There are events planned from 9:30am-2pm. “I’ve been involved with summer reading programs for almost twelve years," she said, "and am always astonished at the number of people who are tuned into opening day… for many people this is how their summer begins!” Lots of vendors participate in the summer reading programs, which mean lots of coupons - such as for reduced fee or free entrance to museums, plus ice cream, or mini-golf - will be given away to all participants.
Try "Reading with Yogi"
One of the unique opportunities at the Pawtucket Library is its “Reading With Yogi” program. Robin Nyzio, children’s librarian, was excited to tell me all about this very popular program which receives its funding from the Samuel Caidin Fund (established to provide arts education and entertainment fun for the children of Pawtucket) This program works in conjunction with the Providence Animal Rescue League. Reading with Yogi (a wonderful dog) will happen Wednesdays from 10-11am for the month of July. Children are encouraged to come into the library and read with Yogi. Reading with a dog provides the child with a relaxed environment in which to enjoy the reading process. (A similar program that I know of is the Reading to Rover program at the South County YMCA). Summer reading registration begins on Monday, June 27th.
Summer Pen Pal Program
Aaron Coutu, the young adult librarian, at the Greenville Public Library is so enthusiastic about a special program that he is running - The Young Adult Summer Pen Pal Program for ages 11-18. Teens can register for this program at any of the libraries. Once the forms are filled out, they make their way to Aaron as he has the task of spending the weekend matching up pen pals based on the information filled out in the forms (favorite books, movies, music, etc.). Forms need to be back to your local library by July 1st in order to be matched up with a pen pal.
It’s incredible to imagine that some kids have not had the experience of putting pen to paper and sending their letter off in hopes of receiving a return letter. (Letters are dropped off and picked up at local libraries so no postage necessary!) Communicating by email, texts and Facebook messages have for the most part all but made letter writing antiquated. But not quite yet! You need to come to the library to see if there is a letter waiting for you. Aaron says, “Summer reading is a chance for teens to not only practice reading, but to find out how much fun reading is!”
Reading By The Sea... for adults
Reference librarian, Jean Burditt, at Robert Beverly Hale Library in Matunuck is also in charge of programming. She sent me information about the adult Reading By The Sea program, which was launched last year with 36 participants! She expects to have even more this year with the popularity of last summer’s program. Registration begins on Tuesday, June 28th. As with the children’s summer reading programs, there will be weekly coupons given away for things such as McDonald’s coffee, admission to Providence Children’s Museum (take the kids who have also received those museum coupons and entrance is free for everyone!), $15 tickets to Trinity and more! There are also weekly drawings for special prizes (held on Tuesdays) and a big end of the summer party on Friday, August 26th from 3-4pm. I am planning on attending. (If that helps with sign-ups!) The Grand Prize Drawing will be held at the party. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer reading should be fun and joining in with the reading programs and earning prizes is a means to that end. Research shows just how vital summer reading is for children in terms of keeping them on track for heading back to school in the fall (not to rush the summer that has FINALLY arrived!) and that without practice, reading skills will definitely deteriorate. Fifteen minutes per day is the goal set for reading but the hope is that the child will become so lost in the book that 15 minutes turns into much more!
Reading enthusiast and all around "book-pusher" Robin Kall can be heard live Saturday mornings from 7-8am on Reading With Robin WHJJ 920AM. This week, Frank O'Donnell will be in the studio with Robin discussing Tina Fey's Bossypants. Also streaming live at www.920whjj.com. Follow on Twitter @robinkall, and Facebook - Reading With Robin.
- Well-Read: 10 Great Books for Summer Reading
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- Well-Read: 7 Great Books for Spring
- Well-Read: Why Real Books Will Always Matter
- Well-Read: Why We Love to Read