The sunny side of the summer slide

Each year, public libraries across the province offer a Summer Reading Club to children between the ages of five and 12.

Each year, public libraries across the province offer a Summer Reading Club to children between the ages of five and 12.

It is largely sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association and generous Friends of the Library groups.

There is a different theme every year, with reading logs and bookmarks designed by artists.

This year the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library is pleased to be offering “Build It!” as our summer reading club. A very appropriate theme which ties in nicely with the construction of the new library on Main Street.

Kids who join the club are given their very own bookmark, pencil and reading log. These logs are designed to encourage children to record their reading over the entire summer. A daily goal is set, which can be anything from a chapter of a book a day, to reading 15 minutes a day.

Children can then pop back into the library every week to collect stickers and stamps. If the entire reading log is filled by the end of summer, a medal is rewarded for this achievement.

Apart from keeping track of their reading over the summer, the library also offers special programs for club members that are book based, action packed and fun! We also hold Thursday morning kids’ book club where they listen to stories and build with Keva blocks.

The idea is to inspire your child to keep reading over the summer and prevent the “summer slide.”

Many children, especially those that struggle to read, need encouragement to keep their reading skills up over the school break.

Studies have shown that simply reading four to six books over the summer will help maintain their reading level.

Reading more than ten books actually helps improve their reading level. If the old adage “practice makes perfect” is to hold true, then coming to the library and checking out books is one way to prevent the summer slide.

In my opinion, summer reading should be entertaining and light, a little break from something that feels too much like school.

Speaking of school, another refreshing sight that we see at the library are teachers! Yes, they finally have a chance to read for pleasure as well. When kids come in and see their teachers at the checkout counter with a big stack of books, their eyes grow wide. It’s always fun to witness that interaction and it brings home the point that reading is important over the summer, too.

If kids are encouraged to keep reading, it doesn’t really matter what they choose. They just need to read, read, read, and we can help with that.

If your child would like some assistance in choosing a book, come visit us and pick up one of our great summer booklists that we have created, or ask the staff for some personal reader’s advisory.

A few titles that have been extremely popular from the booklists are “Lego Superheroes: Batman Visual Dictionary” by Daniel Lipkowitz, “Spy Camp” by Stuart Gibbs and the “Minecraft” handbook series by Stephanie Milton.

Registration for the Summer Reading Club is available all summer long. The benefits are proven and it’s never too late to start.


Caroline McKay is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.



Summerland Review