The Ins & Outs of Summer Reading 2009

This post is designed to explain what Summer Reading is and hopefully answer any questions that you may have.  Hold on to your hats, it’s a long one!

What is Summer Reading?
Summer Reading is an extended event that many libraries offer during the summer to encourage their patrons to read!  This event was originally designed for children to encourage them to read during their summer break from school!  “Experts agree: Children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often experience learning losses.”  (Reading is Fundamental,  2008).  So libraries began hosting Summer Reading Programs that encouraged and offered incentives to children to read over the summer while offering a number of fun & educational programs to bring people to the library.

Over time, Summer Reading has evolved.  We still offer the reading incentives along with the fun & educational programming.  However, we’ve branched out from offering this fun event to kids only, but also to teenagers, and this year we are having our first Adult Summer Reading Program!

We try to build each of these programs to allow everyone to be successful and to be enjoyable.  We want to create a positive attitude about reading and visiting the library!

We set up three different “reading clubs” in the library designed for a specific age group.  You may come to either library and register for your “reading club” between the dates of June 3 and June 17. You will receive the paperwork you need to keep track of your reading that you will then bring back to the library to pick up your prizes!

We also offer a number of programs/events throughout the summer.  You can click here to view and/or download the calendars of events.  Those registering for the childrens & teen reading clubs will receive a copy of the calendars in their registration packet.

Let’s look at each of the different “reading clubs” we have available for the different age groups.

Children’s Summer Reading Program/Club
The Children’s Summer Reading Club is designed for ages 3-those entering the 5th grade.  (We’d love to include the birth-3 group, but the incentives we offer are not always safe for this age group.)  We know that all kids of this age can’t read/is learning to read/still enjoys being read to, and this is perfectly fine.  Feel free to read to your kids and count that time on their reading log!

To sign your child up for the reading club, bring your child(ren) to either library between June 3-June 17 and register at the front desk.  (Parents must register their children for this reading club.)  If you register on June 3 at the Main Library during the kickoff event at 2:30pm, we’ll have a separate table to do so to keep the large crowds away from those checking out books.  (It can get kind of crazy.)

Parents will need to fill out a very short registration card about their child and then they will be handed a book bag filled with everything they’ll need to keep track of their child’s reading/listening.  You will find a reading log in their packet that has 15 minute increments marked off.  As your child reads or listens in those 15 minute increments, have them color in the block and when they reach 2 hours, bring in the log to the library for a prize!  The last prize is given at 12 hours of reading.

If your child is reading independently, we encourage you to encourage them to read books on their reading level, as this will help them stay on their reading level and improve their skills during the summer school break.  In the past, I’ve included a “Commitment Form” in the kids packets where they can sign their name committing that they will do their best, read on their reading level and have fun!  It’s not a requirement by any means, just a way to encourage kids to read on their reading level, and maybe a quick exercise in integrity too!  I have not included this form in this year’s packet, but if you would like to print it out and use it at home, feel free to do so.  You may print it out here. (There are three on this PDF page, so if you need multiple forms you may only need to print once.)

We’ve got a lot of really great prizes this year!  Click here to check them out!

We hope that you sign your child for this reading club this year.  We are super excited and looking forward to a very fun summer.

Teen Summer Reading Program/Club
The teen summer reading is designed for entering 6th graders – entering 12th graders.

Teens may come to either library and sign up for the reading club between June 3 through June 17.  (Teens may register themselves for this reading club.)  They will complete a very short registration card and then will receive a packet of information that will include a book log for them to keep up with their books and one book review form.

Teens will read books on their reading level and at least 100 pages long and note that on their reading log.  They will then fill out a short book review form and bring their book log and book review form to the library to receive a small prize.  Once the teen has turned in 6 book reviews, they will be entered into our grand prize drawing for a number of neat prizes including an 8G iPod Nano, courtesy of Best Buy.  To check out the rest of the prizes, click here!

For every six books read and book reviews turned in to the library, they will earn an entry in the grand prize drawing that will be held at our End-of-the-Summer-Reading-Program Block Party on July 16 between 6pm-7:30.  ALL BOOK REVIEWS MUST BE TURNED IN BY 12NOON ON JULY 16 TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GRAND PRIZE DRAWING. If the winners of the prize drawings are not in attendance, we will contact them on July 17 and let them know of their winnings.  Please note that the individual book prizes are limited to the first six books read/reviews turned into the library.

The library hosts a Teen Book Review Blog and any book review turned into the library may be used on that site.  We ask the teens on the book review form if we may use their first name on the blog to identify the author, and will ONLY use their first name.  If the teen prefers not to be identified, we will not use a name at all.  So, be sure to check the blog often this summer to see if your book review was published!

In the past, I’ve included a “Commitment Form” in the kids packets where they can sign their name committing that they will do their best, read on their reading level and have fun!  It’s not a requirement by any means, just a way to encourage kids to read on their reading level, and maybe a quick exercise in integrity too!  I have not included this form in this year’s packet, but if you would like to print it out and use it at home, feel free to do so.  You may print it out here. (There are three on this PDF page, so if you need multiple forms you may only need to print once.  It is the same form we are using for the Children’s Reading Club.)

We have a ton of great activities for this age group as well, both in the library and things that can be done at home.  Be sure to check out the calendar for more information.  (It will also be in their registration packet.)

Adult Summer Reading Program/Club
This is the inaugural year for our Adult Summer Reading Club.  We are so very excited to offer this event, and hope that adults have a great time reading this summer!

This program is for adult ages 18+.  Simply stop by either library between June 3 and June 17 to fill out a short registration card and receive your packet of information that includes a bingo card!

Adults will complete various activities on the bingo card and when they earn a “BINGO!” simply bring the card back to the library to receive your prize.

The first 100 people to bring their completed Bingo card back to the library will receive a cool tote bag, and everyone will receive a couple of food coupons (while supplies last) and be entered into a grand prize drawing.  Click here to see a list of the prizes!

Adults may also complete book reviews to earn additional entries into the grand prize drawings, with a limit of 5!  Click here to read more about the Bingo Card and to download the Book Review Forms.

The Grand Prize Drawings will be held at our End-of-the-Summer-Reading-Program Block Party on July 16 between 6pm-7:30.  ALL BOOK REVIEWS MUST BE TURNED IN BY 12NOON ON JULY 16 TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GRAND PRIZE DRAWING. If the winners of the prize drawings are not in attendance, we will contact them on July 17 and let them know of their winnings.

One Last Note
Whew!  That’s a lot of information.  If you have any further questions, feel free to leave your question as a comment to the post and we will answer it as soon as possible!  Please leave it in a comment, because if you have a question, I bet someone else will too!

A BIG thank you to our Friends of the Library organization who each year provides the funding for our summer reading program.  They work hard to raise these funds that help the library provide fun events for our patrons, and have been most supportive of the library staff!  If you are interested in joining this awesome organization, inquire at the front desk at either library for a registration card.  You may read more about the Friends of the Library here.

We would also like to thank the many local businesses who donated items to be given away as prizes for our various reading clubs.  To see a list of these generous businesses, click here!

We are super excited about our fun summer at the library.  Don’t forget to check out our Calendar of Events and we look forward to seeing you this summer at the Jackson Madison County Libraries!!

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