[kids-lib] Ideas for Promoting & Celebrating Summer Reading

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Mon May 9 18:02:47 PDT 2016

Please pardon the cross-posting. I shared this information with the OASL community and thought you might be interested. -- Jen


Last week I asked for ideas about promoting and celebrating summer reading. Thanks to the three school librarians who responded to my information request, and thanks to Katie Anderson, Youth Services Consultant at the State Library, for providing additional info. Here’s what I learned.

What do you do to promote the public library’s summer reading program before the school year ends?
How do you coordinate with staff at your local public library for summer reading?
What do you do to recognize summer reading participants or to celebrate with them after school starts in the fall?

·         For the first time, I am signing all of my kids up for summer reading through Multnomah County. Because our students come from all over the tricounty area, I’ve never done this in the past.

·         I also provide extensive lists of recommended titles to kids and their families.

·         Offered a prize to students who brought back a completed game card (tracking sheet) from the public library program

·         Distributed the game cards to all students at school the last week of school before the program began

·         Held a summer reading scholastic buy one/get one book fair

·         Had summer hours at the school library (funding permitting!)

·         Met students at the library over the summer

·         Included info in the parent newsletter and on the school website about the program and other awesome activities at the library

·         My high school has its own summer reading program, which changes every year. I do send our summer reading list to local bookstores and public libraries. This year the Summer Reading Committee decided to select nonfiction titles. For this summer, students will be reading two books. One book is an "Everybody Reads" book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Greg Boyle. Then, students will select one of three titles depending on their grade level.

·         To encourage active summer reading, I offer the Summer Reading Challenge. Students who meet the challenge (reading ten books or 2016 pages over the summer) earn a Summer Reading shirt. The shirt is selected from a t-shirt design contest that I have in late April/early May. I have a print shop company who prints and donates the shirts. Parents complete the verification form which students submit to the library to get their free shirt. I select shirts that are generic to reading (no year, no school name, no phrase "Summer Reading") as I want students to wear them year round.

·         Invite public library staff to come to school in the spring to promote the summer reading program in classrooms or at an assembly.

·         The idea that sparked my inquiry: Host a summer reading celebration at the beginning of the school year; encourage everyone to wear their summer reading shirts & take a group photo; “admission ticket” is summer reading tracking form (or copy of it) or wearing t-shirt earned through program participation; promote the celebration at the end of the prior school year to encourage participation in the summer reading program.

Other Suggestions

·         Talk with your principal about the impact summer learning loss has on students when they return to school in the fall and the accumulating effect it has on student achievement year after year (here is a video about it: https://youtu.be/Ahhj3wxxkdM) and offer to help prevent summer learning loss by doing some of the activities suggested in this email at your school.

·         Encourage teachers to talk with parents about summer learning loss and the importance of summer reading. Here are some one-page research briefs about summer learning loss (http://www.summerlearning.org/?page=research_brief) that you can distribute to teachers and parents.

·         Help teachers develop summer reading lists or use ALA’s Association for Library Services to Children’s 2016 summer reading list for PreK-8th Grade (http://www.ala.org/alsc/2016-summer-reading-list) and OLA’s Oregon Young Adult Networks 2016 Book Rave list for middle and high school students (http://www.olaweb.org/assets/OYAN/book_rave16_color.pdf).

·         Make sure all students have a public library card.

·         If your school’s cafeteria will be open in the summer as a result of the federal government's Summer Food Service Program (http://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program-sfsp), take advantage by coordinating open school library hours, etc.

·         Consider using digital tools to track reading in the summer (and longer). For example, ReaderZone is committed to “eliminating the outdated paper reading calendar” (https://readerzone.com/).

·         Become familiar with the resources and work of the National Summer Learning Association (http://www.summerlearning.org/).

Summer Reading Theme & Certificates

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) (http://www.cslpreads.org/about/) establishes an annual summer reading theme, and this year’s is fitness, wellness, and sports. The children’s slogan is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read,” and the teen slogan is “Get in the Game: Read.” The State Library provides downloadable summer reading certificates tied to the CSLP theme. “Youth from birth to high school graduation are eligible to receive [one] when they complete a local library's summer reading program or listen to/read ten books over the summer.” If you know of students who meet either requirement this summer but do not receive a certificate, you can give them one (http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/summerreading/summerreadingcertificates.aspx).

If staff at your local public library staff have not contacted you about encouraging your students to participate in their summer reading program, please reach out to them.

Thanks for your efforts,

Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Library Support and Development Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us>

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