Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer Reading 2017

poster in progress
This year's program continues the theme of simple, easy, and flexible. Thanks to my associate, Jess, who tweaks and creates most of our graphic design and layouts! (If it looks good it's her, if it doesn't it's mine).

  • Summer reading registration for ages 0-18 begins May 30. They can register in person at the library or online (online registration is just a google form that links to the calendar to print). I record name, age, and school. Grades 6 and up I am tracking library card numbers, just to make sure they all have valid library cards.
  • All ages up to 16 receive a fine amnesty coupon. All ages, 0-18, can get a registration prize (provided by a local artist) if desired. They're mostly bookmarks, pins, buttons, so not suitable for babies.
Reading Logs
  • Ages 0-3 have an activity/reading calendar for June. They get a prize at the end of June (rubber ducky and fizzy bath tablets) and a July activity/reading calendar. At the end of July they get a free book.
  • Grades kindergarten through fifth grade have an activity reading calendar for June. They get a pack of passes, provided by the consortium, at the end of June and a July activity/reading calendar. At the end of July they get a free book.
    • K-5th June calendar
    • K-5th July calendar
    • Passes (while supplies last)
      • Chipotle free kid's meal
      • Pizza Hut (coming)
      • MKE WAVE
      • Milwaukee Public Museum (issues with printing)
      • Country Springs Water Park bogo
      • Old World Wisconsin bogo
      • Milwaukee Bucks bogo (coming)
Weekly Incentives and Program Ethos
Our "prizes" are tied to visiting the library, not reading or other activities. Kids are not required to "complete" their calendars, read every single day, or do every activity. I've evolved this program over the years and it meets all of my summer reading goals which I've created to fit our individual library and community's needs.
  • Program that challenges voracious readers but does not discourage or penalize reluctant or struggling readers
    • The calendar system allows kids and families to set their own reading goals
  • Program that is simple and easy to use for busy families and does not involve a lot of paperwork and library-policing.
    • Some people sign off on their kids' calendars. If they want to do that it's fine, but I do not want to have to question kids like guilty suspects as to whether they read or not.
  • Program that emphasizes reading, not prizes or "stuff" you get
  • Program that encourages library visits, not just racking up reading minutes (or hours) or, again, "stuff".
Each week that the kids visit the library they can get an activity bag. One bag per week. If they miss a week they don't get two bags the next week. I updated and reformatted all the activity bag inserts, which you can see here. Of course, I'd already printed most of them, but now they're ready for next year. I purchased most of the materials for these either from Amazon or Discount School Supply.
  • Week 1: Floating ball
  • Week 2: Balloon rockets
  • Week 3: Texture book
  • Week 4: Beading bag
  • Week 5: Exploding sticks
  • Week 6: Scratch art
  • Week 7: Magnet fishing
  • Week 8: Marshmallow builders
The kids can get stickers for every day - or week - that they read. I'm pretty casual about how many they pick. I've gotten really tired of constantly policing the kids. I have stickers from the dollar store, Walmart, etc. but I also got some great foam stickers from Amazon.
Teens (6th grade and up)
  • Teens register and can pick a sign up prize if desired. Every week they turn in a check out receipt, they get to pick a colored marble which denotes a prize. Prizes are a box of small misc. things, mini candy bars, big candy bars, and books. They can get one prize per week. At the end of summer we'll go through all the collected receipts and choose three grand prize winners for gift cards.