Spring is in the air here in Washington, D.C. and I find myself thinking ahead to the upcoming summer months. We will be starting our annual Summer Reading Challenge soon. At my library, this is geared towards people of all ages though it is more popular with the children.
In past years, we have had game boards with different activities for each age range including our youngest patrons ages birth to five. Some of these activities are as simple as reciting your ABC’s. Older preschoolers have had the opportunity to practice writing. These activities seem geared towards early literacy which we know is very important for emerging readers.
In addition, we often have special guest performers who get the children further excited. Past visitors have included science programs as well as storytellers. We also have had the Washington Nationals, our local baseball team, as one of our sponsors. This has given the children the joy of hearing a baseball player read to them and share his love for books.
My colleague observed that the inclusion of adults in our challenge allows many of them to revisit the library often for the first time since they were children. As parents are children’s first teacher the Summer Reading Challenge can prove to be a win-win situation for all. This program also helps our youngest patrons set and achieve goals which will also be valuable as they begin their school years.
We as librarians are often seen as the face of literacy. Summer reading challenges allow children to see themselves as readers from a young age. They too can become that face.
What are some summer reading programs that have been a success at your library? Share them in the comments!