Summer Reading Club keeps literary skills sharp

Reading is like all skills – a little practice goes a long way, and the old ‘use it or lose it’ adage applies

Summer is here and that means Summer Reading Club at the Library. The SRC Kick-Off at the Campbell River branch library, 1240 Shoppers Row, is planned for Wednesday, July 4 from 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Summer readers are invited to attend to sign up for the SRC, learn how it works, and play the “Strange but True?” game.

Reading is like all skills – a little practice goes a long way, and the old ‘use it or lose it’ adage applies equally well to reading, especially for children who don’t keep up these important skills during their summer vacation.

Nobody knows this better than teachers who believe that some children can lose as much as 60% of their acquired skills over the summer break. A minimum of 10 minutes a day is all it takes for primary school children to keep up their reading skills and speed.

“Research shows that students who don’t read a minimum of 10 books at their current reading level will actually regress over the summer and be further behind, compared to where they were at the start of their summer vacation, and then they’ll have to play catch-up in September,” says Timothy Skye, Campbell River Library Manager at Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL).

He suggests that parents encourage daily reading activities during the summer by signing their kids up for reading programs as a great way to keep children and parents motivated. The library offers two levels of summer reading programs: ‘Summer Reading Club’ for Kindergarten to Grade 7 and ‘Read to Me’ for pre-schoolers and those who cannot yet read independently.

The Summer Reading Club provides elementary school children with incentives to make reading an integral part of their holiday and encourages them to practice and improve their reading skills while school is out.

Strange…But True is the theme for this year’s program, and each week has a different theme featuring titles that will expose young readers to different genres – science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, mystery, adventure, poetry, folk and fairytales, jokes, humour, and more.

Children who sign up receive a fun registration package with a bookmark, stickers, trinkets, and a reading record book in which they are encouraged to keep track of the books they have read. Kids can also attend interesting programs at their local library.  Children registering at the Campbell River Branch will receive a list of programs scheduled throughout the summer in their registration package.  Customers in other communities can contact their local library for program information.

When they finish their reading record, children are eligible to receive a special Summer Reading Club medal and, at the end of the summer many branches will celebrate with a wind-up party and medal ceremony.

Last year, some 5,000 children participated in the Summer Reading Club and Read to Me programs offered at VIRL’s 38 branches located on Vancouver Island (except Victoria), Haida Gwaii, and Bella Coola on the Central Coast.

Registration for the free summer reading programs starts on July 3 but kids can register any time in July. Parents are encouraged to sign their children up early.  Find more Information at www.virl.bc.ca.  Kids use their own or their parent’s library card, which is available free-of-charge at all local library branches. Parents need to show valid ID and sign their children’s card. They can also apply online at www.virl.bc.ca (click ‘Using the Library’ > ‘Membership’).