Blogger Kary Henry

SRP: All About Connections!

Our Summer Reading Program (SRP) kick-off date is just around the corner. I like to think of SRP as all about connections!


The first connection I make….well before our Summer Reading Program (SRP) even begins…is with our school librarians. Not only are they amazing at helping us talk up our SRP, but they are the stars of our annual SRP promotional video. This year’s theme, Read Beyond the Beaten Path, was perfect for encouraging students to read books that are outside of their normal reading habits and/or to read in unusual places. The fantastic school librarians did both for our video!

Each of their clips will be seen after a title screen that reads, “I have never…”

School librarian in front of Times Square green screen. Video courtesy of Heather C., used with permission.
School librarian reading on the playground. Video courtesy of Kathy K., used with permission.

We connect with tween and teen volunteers, as well. Our application process includes listing references. This helps give our volunteers the real world experience of asking them to connect with adults who can vouch for them. Our volunteers do it all! From helping us at the SRP registration table to serving as program volunteers to being Big Buddies in our wildly popular Book Buddies program, we couldn’t get through a summer without them. The connections made between our Big Buddies and Little Buddies often extend beyond the program itself.

And, of course, we connect with children during SRP. From birth to high school, no matter where they live or whether they have a library card, our Summer Reading Program is open to all. Because our school districts encompass a variety of areas, this approach allows for more participation, which, after all, is the point of summer reading!


Finally, I like to connect the programs I offer to our Summer Reading Program theme.

  • Road Trip: For this program, preschoolers will travel around America through stories, games, and a craft. For every successful road trip, of course you need a car. Decorating large boxes, donated by our Support Services Department, will kick off this program. The kids will sit in their box car during the storytime, and then we’ll play a game. To finish up, we’ll calculate how many miles we traveled via books to bring in some STEM aspects.
  • Fantasy Maps: Elementary school students will learn about map-making and create maps of their favorite places that don’t exist. This is a repeat of a program I offered years ago and wrote about here.
  • Bear Hunt: Preschoolers and I will celebrate all things ursine (stuffed and real) through stories and fun activities.

How do you make connections through your Summer Reading Program? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

This post addresses these ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, III. Programming Skills, and V. Outreach and Advocacy

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