Fall might be in the air, but Diana & I just finished up our Summer Reading "Beat the Heat" program. (Check out our June 2018 Blog post below) We hosted our celebrations on both of our campuses this past week. I had 65 students come to PGE's party with 2 coming back from the Intermediate School to join with us to celebrate our summer reading.
At PGE, the students had fun with character BINGO games, prizes/rewards and watching book trailers. When asked if they enjoyed having a bag of books to read for the summer ...the resounding answer was "YES!".
I am happy to report almost 100% of my bags & library books were returned from the summer reading program. It confirmed that it is okay to let the books go...they don't need to collect dust on the library shelves...get them into the hands of your students for the summer. Our library shelves don't need them! Let us build the culture of reader.
One part of the program I need to evaluate is the digital sharing part. The students liked the book bags but only 1 posted to the Seesaw site(it was optional). I will need to rethink how to maybe get more wanting to share what your are reading or see if that is a needed part to include.
I agree with Suzanne that these books do not need to be left on the shelves to collect dust over the summer. Most of my book have been returned as well. The students checked out 465 books and 462 have come back already. Even though students moved away, they returned their books. Best part was that I had the emails of parents of all participants. This made it easy to get a hold of those who forgot their books or moved. I did my informal survey during the celebration, and most students had read from some to all of the books in their bags, and they all said they would like to participate in the program next year. This program had the highest participation of any of our summer reading programs over the past 5 years. Thanks to Suzanne, I borrowed her character bingo cards, and the winners took turns running the BB8 Sphero's around the Colby Speedway. I was also grateful for the support of the staff who came and helped with the after school celebration. We even had the assistant principal play some dance impromptu music over the intercom and the kids broke out their best dance moves with the principal.
What would I do different next year? I would try and include more students in the celebration. I know BES had a lot of summer readers who read books from other places, and it would have been fun to include those readers too.
Diana Colby @DianaColby Mother of eight. Librarian, one busy momma. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you will live forever." Gandhi