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

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read