Children and youth in the 100 Mile community who want to keep up their reading skills over the next few months can now do so via the Summer Reading Club’s new virtual format.
Due to precautions in place at the 100 Mile House Library, the club – which normally operates in the library’s activity room – will instead take place online, with personalized book and activity bundles available for pick-up by participants each week.
“We’re offering the program from a distance this year,” explains librarian Shelby Powell. “There won’t be any in-person activities, but the club will include our province-wide programming as well as several branch-specific videos on our Facebook page.”
Parents can register their children by completing a form found on the library’s Facebook page (CRD 100 Mile House Library) and dropping it in the outdoor return slot, or by calling the library during regular hours, Tuesday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There are options to specify a child’s reading level, as well as if they would also like to receive an activity package, which includes crafts. Parents will choose a time to pick up the bundles each week, and will then swap them out the following week at the same time for a new package of books and activities.
“The activity bundle will follow along with the videos we post each week,” Powell says.
The club has been running for two weeks already, and Powell says the response has been quite good so far. Normally, the library sees anywhere from 80 to 100 participants by the end of the summer; this year they have around 25 children signed up.
There is no deadline to register. However, the program does wrap up on Aug. 22, so the last bundles will be assembled no later than Aug. 18.
The benefits to maintaining a regular reading routine throughout the summer are many, according to Powell.
“The whole point of Summer Reading Club, essentially, is that libraries want to encourage literacy by fostering a positive experience for kids. By keeping engaged over the summer, reading can be seen as a fun way to learn new things. And it’s good to practice for younger kids, especially if they’re still in the learning stages.”
Staff at the library have procedures in place to ensure the safety of all participants in the Summer Reading Club. Book and activity bundles will be assembled at least 72 hours prior to when parents will pick them up, and the same process will be followed upon the return of the bundles the following week. Staff are also being conscientious about hand-washing and sanitizing while handling the books.
Powell suggests that parents follow the library’s Facebook page for more information about the program and to keep up-to-date with weekly videos and activities. Club participants are also encouraged to share their progress and activities on the Facebook page, so the coordinators can see first-hand how the program is being received.
“The more engagement on our Facebook page, the better,” she says. “We want to know that the videos are being watched and that people are enjoying them.”
More information about the provincial summer reading program can be found by visiting www.bcsrc.ca; the local branch can be reached at 250-395-2332.