We've handed out prizes, held raffles, stopped serving lunches and generally wrapped up shop. Most of the kids went back to school on Monday and for the first time in three months, we've been able to breathe.
So how did summer reading go? Well, at our little branch summer reading completion was up over 300% from last year. 300%! Sign-ups were also much higher. I talked to a few parents and they attributed this to Ms. E and me pushing summer reading harder than ever before, and the prizes being better too. It's hard to argue with that, when for the first time ever there was a Chipotle coupon for half-way finishers and everyone got an actual prize- a book- when they completed the program, in addition to being entered into the raffle for a Kindle Fire.
Our finisher wall
For the first time this year, we also had a separate program for the Read With Me crowd, ages birth to five.
Close up on the best ever way to spell "Dylan"
This program also went a long way to pushing up our numbers. It made absolutely zero sense for an 18 month old to be held to the same standard of "reading" as a 10 year old and, I'm convinced, turned off a lot of parents from participating in past years.
This year we had a game board with all sorts of activities promoting early literacy- we sang a song together, we talked about what we saw on a walk, we went to a library program, we practiced counting to 10 etc...
Putting these sorts of things in an early literacy summer reading program not only legitimized/validated what a lot of parents are already doing with their child, it gave us a great way to talk more about the six components of early literacy and what programs at the library are focused on early literacy development.
All that being said, I'm super looking forward to fall and what back to school season has to offer.
Sayonora Summer Reading, see you next year!