Blogger Jonathan Dolce

19 Positive Summer Reading Activities During COVID

chalk board with words what's your story

Adapt If COVID has taught me anything, it is to keep in mind the one-word slogan of Navy SEALS: Adapt. We are public librarians. We adapt. We adapted during the digital age to maintain our relevance. COVID is not going to stop us. Irrespective of where you are right now, summer reading has boiled down to three options: passive, curbside or virtual. We remain in the unique position of being able to touch the lives and hearts of our community. We have a responsibility to remain positive, and to disseminate hope. Read on to see how 19 positive summer reading activities during COVID can make the difference. 1 – Radio I’ll never forget growing up the impact just one radio station had on my hometown. The station was 45 minutes away by car, but everyone in my school knew it; always had it on. You couldn’t see the DJs, but…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Does Drama Camp Translate to Virtual Format?

O, Social distancing, how thou art a thorn in my side!   For the past seven years, I’ve been running a two week drama camp as one of the many activities my library offers during our summer reading program.  It is, typically, my biggest and most involved program each year.  I’m used to parents and campers rushing into the library to sign up for camp on the first day registration opens.  It is usually filled with a full wait list in just a matter of a day or two. Campers are rising 3rd-8th graders; counselors are high school and college students.  We do Shakespeare in Elizabethan English.  The campers put on a full (albeit abridged) production on the last day of camp.  The camp has steadily grown over the years. The past two years we have been on a real stage, with theater lighting, sound, and av effects.  We’ve done…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story!

Darth Vader reading on a playground slide

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story? Summer slide in the age of COVID.  I don’t think anyone can really imagine what this summer will look like in terms of a summer reading program for any age group.  The show must go on, though – so let’s imagine your story together! Scheduling Scheduling a time for your summer reading program is essential.  Pick you set of dates, beginning and ending, as well as your “big” program days.  You’ve had some practice with online programming by now.  Now, just do it bigger! Space Familiarity is critical for your audience.  It gives a sense of anticipation, a recognizable (or branding) setting, and a reassuring repetition.  If the space you’ve been using for online programming isn’t as polished as you’d like it, time to refine!  Sound problems?  Get them ironed out!  This is crunch time! Supplies Your list of supplies this summer is going…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Summer’s Changing and It Should

For years, public libraries have been offering some form of Summer Reading Program for the youth in their communities. There is an abundance of evidence on the benefits of Summer Reading Programs in reducing the effects of summer slide and reducing the achievement gaps that can exist between students from low and middle income families. (For more resources look at http://www.summermatters.net/summer-learning-loss-increases-the-achievement-gap-diagram/ and https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/summerslide). In the last ten years, many public libraries and youth librarians have been asking the questions “Is a Summer Reading program enough?” and “How can we help reduce our students’ losses in mathematics and other subject areas?”  The evolving solution to those questions is the transformation from Summer Reading Programs to Summer Learning Programs.

ALSC Board

Summer Reading and Learning is a Year-Round Community Effort

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) conference in Atlanta.  It was a great reminder that Summer Reading/Learning is always on the top of not only our minds, but the minds of our partners in the community who share the pleasures of working with children when the regular school year is not in session.  It seems we’re always in the midst of planning, conducting, and evaluating summer programs.

Blogger Meg Smith

Summertime Kids Means Summertime Fun

Though 4th of July has come and gone, summer reading is still in full swing. A critical part of our summer reading initiatives is our outreach programming to provide resources to youth unable to visit the library. One of our most successful outreach programs is our involvement with Summertime Kids. The Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library, Inc. recently received a $10,000.00 Summertime Kids Grant through Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. to provide books and book bags to youth involved in Summertime Kids camps. Summertime Kids camps provide summer resources and experiences to youth from underserved communities, and public library staff partner with camp sites to provide books and book bags to participants. During Summertime Kids programming, youth services staff encourage campers to develop their skills in choosing reading materials as participants select two books they take home to begin or add to their home libraries. Children and teens also…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

STEM Teaching Begins with Preschoolers!

toddler interacting with science exhibit in Belgharia

STEM Teaching and Learning Begins with Preschoolers! So, I was explaining STEM to my dad, a retired physicist.  He’s skeptical by nature as any good scientist should be.  When I got to the part about teaching it to preschoolers, well, let’s just say I was bombarded by particles. But hear me out – it really DOES start with preschoolers!  And I can prove it! Penny Bauder, environmental scientist, teacher and mom of two, points out that “It is never too early to start STEM education, and an ideal way to teach STEM is to go out into nature!” Boston Children’s Museum, too, points out that children have a natural curiosity.  STEM is a great way to help 3-5 year-olds to focus and refine their naturally inquisitive behaviors. Linking it up to Summer Reading 2019! Even a pre-schooler can be a NASA citizen scientist!  Download and install the GLOBE Observer app…