Premier John Horgan and Education Minister Rob Fleming read stories to kids at the James Bay Library in Victoria on July 3. (Greater Victoria Public Library photo)

Premier John Horgan and Education Minister Rob Fleming read stories to kids at the James Bay Library in Victoria on July 3. (Greater Victoria Public Library photo)

Public library battles ‘summer slide’ in children’s literacy

Youth track daily reading and enjoy weekly incentives from the Greater Victoria Public Library

The Greater Victoria Public Library arms kids with literacy every summer. This summer, the inclusive reading program.

Whether you’re reading at home or on holidays, kids 12 and younger track their daily reading on a free reading record available at any GVPL branch, and enjoy weekly incentives (read prizes) along the way.

“Summer reading club helps kids develop or maintain daily reading habits in a fun way,” says Sarah Harrison, one of three public services librarians with GVPL that co-ordinate the annual program. “The program is in place because of the summer slide … if they don’t keep up with reading, all their work during the school year tends to slide back a little bit.”

Every year they visit all eligible students in school districts 61, 62 and 63, encouraging registration for the program that starts right after school ends, and wraps the day before the school year starts.

“The summer slide, it’s real, kids often drop a couple of reading levels over the summer and that’s why this program was designed many, many years ago,” Harrison said. The BC Summer Reading Club is a nationwide program, tweaked for individual libraries and communities. Last year more than 8,000 young people registered across the GVPL, doubling since 2008. In the first week of 2018, 4,500 registered.

“Kids come into the library to pick up their free reading record an then they take their reading record home with them and do the reading,” Harrison said. They suggest a minimum 20 minutes every day. “After they’ve read for a week, they come back into the library and we give them a sticker and a prize. And the prizes get more exciting the longer they participate.”

For the third year Panago Pizza offers up the Week 6 prize – a certificate for a personal pizza. The popular Week 5 prize is a recreation centre pass (usable across the region); while Week 4 is a ballot prize, where names are drawn for passes donated by local attractions such as Flying Squirrel, Western Speedway, Boulders Climbing Gym. For the full for seven weeks, kids can earn a book or a medal.

“While kids could come in on the last day of school. It’s any time in the summer they can join… it’s a self-paced program,” Harrison said.

She also points out that reading means different things to different kids. Given the diversity of young people, for some it’s listening to stories, or reading with help, or finishing a chapter book.

“We encourage kids to read whatever they want, pick their favourite book, learn something new, download an e-book and read it on the iPad, download a book and listen to it on a road trip. The goal is for kids to have fun reading,” Harrison said.

Summer Reading Program is one of more than 150 free library programs at branches throughout Greater Victoria this summer.

“Lots of different thing to keep kids engaged and having fun and its all free,” Harrison said.

For teens, they have the All That and a Bag of Chips book review club. Upon signing up, youth aged 10 to 18 get a free book and a bag of chips, sponsored by Fairway Market and Old Dutch. For every short book review they write this summer, they get entered to win prizes.

RELATED: Snacks an added incentive for teen summer reading

For adults and families, the Summer Challenge features 18 library-related challenges that encourage people to read and learn in different ways.

If participants share their completed challenge (with a photo or answer to a question) on Facebook or Twitter, using #gvplchallenge, they are entered into weekly prize draws. Challenges include taking a photo of a free little library box, taking a photo of your book shelf, reading a book by a local author, taking our Change Your Mind personality quiz and listening to an audiobook.

Challenge number 10 – Go paint outside this summer – references a new collection for the GVPL called Go Create.

“This is a new collection that we just launched at the grand opening of the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay branch,” Harrison said. She expects it will only grow from the current easel rental.

RELATED: GVPL opens new sxʷeŋ’xʷəŋ taŋ’exw James Bay Branch

Visit gvpl.ca for a full list of programs.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Greater Victoria Public Library

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

Sidney council approved a broad package of tax relief measures, but concerns about its timing and effectiveness remain. (Black Press Media File).
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney

Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020

Colwood restaurants can use city property for patios. (Black Press Media file photo)
Temporary patios back on for Colwood restaurants

Council voted to extend temporary permits to 2022

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department as well as Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and BC Ambulance responded to a dryer fire on Orchard Avenue. (Sidney Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter)
Dryer fire doused in Sidney

Cause of Monday afternoon remains under investigation

(Black Press Media file photo)
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay

Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read