What does summer mean for you? For me, summer is no socks, swimming in Kootenay Lake, reading and playing banjo under the maple tree, camping, going on road trips, making cherry wine, and just being happy to be alive and well in this beautiful valley!
Another summertime tradition for families in B.C. is Summer Reading Club at the library. Since 1990, the British Columbia Library Association and local public libraries have sponsored a provincial Summer Reading Club, which encourages summer reading and public library use by school-age children and families in B.C., encouraging them to do their very best and to set their own reading goals.
Here in Creston, we have been very fortunate for the past few years to receive grant funding from Canada Summer Jobs to hire a summer student to assist with summer programming. This year, our summer student is Alyssa Mynott, a third-year bachelor of elementary education student at the University of Victoria and Prince Charles Secondary School grad who recently completed a teaching practicum at Erickson Elementary School.
Teachers like Alyssa know that children who read over the summer do better in school. And according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), students’ enjoyment of reading is one of the most important individual characteristics that predict higher achievement throughout life.
In the Summer Reading Club, we emphasize self-directed reading for enjoyment and learning. We want to make reading fun. We combine exploration of books with theme-based activities, such as crafts, outdoor exploration, music, drama and more.
We offer a variety of ways to participate in Summer Reading Club. For families who stay in the area for the whole summer, we have weekly registration-required activities for children aged four to 12. On the other end of the spectrum, we offer a completely self-guided program for families who plan to spend the summer away (or just don’t want the commitment of weekly scheduled activities). And for those in between, we offer a variety of drop-in activities and special events that don’t require any registration.
Because all libraries in B.C. follow the same theme and similar program outline, you can take part in Summer Reading Club activities wherever you go. And, of, course, your Creston library card is good throughout the province. You can even drop off books you signed out at one library at any other library you happen to visit.
All registered participants in Summer Reading Club receive a reading record for recording your daily reading, a custom postcard, a bookmark, stickers and, upon completion, a highly collectible medal. We’ll have lots of other prizes for weekly activities, plus a return of the jellybean contest!
Did I mention that all of this is completely free?
Summer Reading Club 2016 will start July 11, with registration starting June 20. Questions? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop by my office anytime.
Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at Creston Valley Public Library. He is currently reading The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt.