Most children’s librarians are nearing the end of their summer reading programs and are finally feeling a bit of relief from their busy schedules. As for me, I’m already jotting down notes and making plans for improvement for next year.
A few years back, my staff and I decided to create a separate program for children not yet reading independently. We created a new reading log, set a goal of listening to 25 books over an eight-week period and ultimately put the decision in the parent’s hands as to which program their child would register for. The program was a moderate success and we’ve continued it since then.
Even though we didn’t get the immediate response I wanted from the community, it was an easy program to do because we used the same prizes and the same reporting system as the youth program. It was worth it to see the accomplishments and the pride that our littlest patrons had on their faces.
This year, however, my library had a pretty large increase in pre-readers registering for summer reading. And now I’m thinking about making the program bigger for next summer now that I have a larger base group to work with!
Instead of just books, I want to incorporate literacy activities. I’ve already thought of a few, and have plenty of time to research for next year. (I’m especially interested in the re-tooled Every Child Ready to Read package!) But I have to ask — do you have any tried and true literacy activities that you’ve used in summer reading reporting?
I’ll be eagerly awaiting your ideas!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library