Experiment with reading this summer at local libraries
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 12:20

BCPL Summer Reading Club begins June 16

by Nicole Rodman

    Though the school year is winding down, for Baltimore County Public Libraries (BCPL), the fun is just getting started.
    Once again, BCPL will present its Summer Reading Club program at library branches across the county.
    The program officially begins on Monday, June 16, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 10.
    The aim of the program is twofold. Through the Summer Reading Club, BCPL hopes to encourage children to read for fun while also helping keep their minds active during the summer break.
    “We want to make reading fun for kids of all ages, so they will be motivated to read and develop positive attitudes about reading and books so that they can become lifelong learners,” Baltimore County Public Library youth services specialist Elizabeth Rafferty explained.
    “Children who join the summer library program keep their minds active and enter school in the fall ready to learn and ready to succeed,” she added.

The overall theme of this year’s Summer Reading Club program is science.
    For younger participants, the program slogan is “Fizz, Boom, Read!,” while for older participants the slogan is “Spark a Reaction.”
    “This ties in especially well with the emphasis on STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in schools,” Rafferty explained. “Plus, you get to do fun experiments with science!”
    Summer Reading Club is available for participants of all ages — from birth to adult.
    The Summer Reading Club’s main program is geared toward elementary school students.
    As always, students read books and fill in a paper gameboard to chart their progress.
    For every four books they read or activities they complete, students earn a sticker.
    Once 16 activities have been completed, participants may choose a completion prize — usually a small toy.
    Even children who are too young to read can get in on the fun.
    For children from birth to age five, the Read-To-Me program emphasizes the importance of reading to young children.
    “It’s especially important for pre-readers to have books read to them so they can develop early literacy skills and be ready to learn to read when they enter school,” Rafferty noted.
    Similar to the elementary program, parents and caregivers read books to their children and fill out a gameboard as they complete books.
    For middle school students, the program is a bit different.
    For every three books completed, students are entered into a raffle. More books read means more entries into the raffle.
    According to Rafferty, the number of prizes has increased from last year, so each library branch will have more winners.
    Teenagers and adult participants can join in on the fun by visiting the BCPL Goodreads page at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/41960-baltimore-county-public-library-summer-reading-bcpl-src.
    Participants can post a review of a recently-read book for a chance to win prizes, including a Kindle e-reader.
    Participation in BCPL’s Summer Reading Club has continued to climb each year.
    Last year, 53,658 individuals registered for the Summer Reading Club.
    The North Point branch boasted 3,593 participants while the Sollers Point branch had 486 participants.
    In addition, the BCPL bookmobiles (based out of the North Point library branch) catered to 3,957 participants.
    BCPL staff are hoping that this year will be another banner year for the Summer Reading Club.
    Rafferty concluded, “I think we will have a record year!”
    For more information, or to pre-register for BCPL’s Summer Reading Club program, visit the Web at www.bcpl.info/summer
    After June 16, participants may sign up for the program and collect prizes by visiting any BCPL library branch.