Offered at Prince William Public Libraries from June 19 – August 19, 2017
By Tracy McPeck
Ah, summer! It’s time for flip-flops, popsicles, lazy days at the pool, and a break from school. It’s also time for summer reading at your public library. We’re talking prizes for reading, fun weekly challenges, and tons of events and activities all summer long. And it’s all free, of course!
Before we get into the details, let’s talk about why summer reading is so important to school-age students. Maybe you’ve heard of the “summer slide”? It’s the learning loss that happens during the summer when kids and teens don’t read or participate in educational activities. But don’t worry, because public library summer reading programs help combat summer slide. Research shows that children who are engaged in summer reading programs perform better academically when they return to school in the fall1. And the best part is that your kids and young adults get a quality experience at no cost.
The library’s Explore Summer Reading program is all about celebrating the joy of reading for fun by providing incentives along the way. The program provides many educational and entertaining experiences that help foster a lifetime love of books and libraries. The program starts June 19 for all ages—infants through adults—at all library locations. Kids and young adults may also register online at www.pwcgov.org/summerreading. And if you are concerned about that summer camp or visit at grandma’s house, we have you covered. You only need to visit six times for your child or young adult to complete the entire program. You can register for summer reading any time, even near the end, so no excuses.
How Explore Summer Reading works.
Kids: infants through rising fifth graders: Receive a passport when you register for summer reading. Every time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll stamp your passport. At two stamps, you’ll receive a free food coupon. Keep coming back, and at six stamps, you’ll get to pick out a brand-new book to keep! Plus, you can earn up to nine stamps to be entered into a grand prize drawing for a flipbook laptop.
Young adults: rising sixth graders through high school seniors: Receive a punch card when you register. Every time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll punch your punch card. At two punches, you’ll receive a free food coupon. And at six punches, you’ll receive more free food! You can also earn up to nine punches for extra entries into the grand prize drawing for a Beats by Dre® Pill+. Moreover, for each book review you write and post to our Explore Summer Reading website, you get another punch. We might even publish your review to our Goodreads page! (www.goodreads/com/pwpls).
Adults, 18+: And why should kids have all the fun? Adults can participate in Explore Summer Reading, too! You don’t even have to register. Whenever you come in to the library, fill out an entry form with the name of a book you’ve read. We will hold a drawing for a Target gift card at each of our eleven branches each week for all nine weeks of summer reading.
Weekly Challenges: When you visit, be sure to participate in the Weekly Challenges. For each week of summer reading, there will be a different challenge based on the theme of the week. It might be an interactive display, quiz, or coloring sheet—something easy but lots of fun. We’ll have challenges for kids, young adults, and adults. When you complete a challenge, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a prize. Prizes will be awarded at every branch every week of summer reading for each age group, so there will be plenty of chances to win!
Events & Activities
While our libraries have many free educational and entertaining events all year round, we really ramp it up during the summer. In addition to our regular programs, such as storytimes, we have special shows from performers all over the East Coast as well as unique presentations from local partners. Many of these exciting events are happening at your local branch, Haymarket Gainesville Community Library.
To start your summer, here are the first major events.
June 22– Virtual visit to Manassas Battlefield with Park Rangers
June 23 – Bar C Ranch Backyard Zoo. Kids and families of all ages can meet the animals at the Bar C Ranch Backyard Zoo.
June 28 – Reptiles Alive (grades K – 5) Meet reptiles up close and personal.
For more information on events in July and August, field trips, and programs for young adults and adults, visit http://pwcgov.evanced.info/ or pick up a copy of Explore magazine at any branch. Let your journey through books begin!
Source: 1Brantley, P. (2015 April 13). Summer reading in the digital age: As technology changes how kids read, the New York Public Library is revamping its 2015 Summer Reading Program. Publishers Weekly.
Tracy McPeck is the Programming and Outreach Coordinator for Prince William Public Libraries. A former youth services librarian, Tracy was the kid who was born with her nose in a book. An extrovert by day, she dabbles in a bit of everything from planning system-wide events for the library, connecting with our community, and snapping photos for Instagram.