I have officially gone the longest time without blogging and for that I apologize! But, we had an amazingly crazy busy summer at the Library and I decided that my home time was time for self care (aka reality tv and popcorn for dinner) instead of more library things so I just took a bit of an unplanned hiatus. Before I start blogging my storytimes and programs again I just wanted to give you a little wrap up of my summer reading program! It was my third summer here and I finally finally felt like I got into my mojo and really did a great job.
This summer, in partnership with our local schools, we chose to track by time read rather than books or pages. Ideally, I would love to ditch tracking but in CT we have a Govenor’s Reading Challenge that requires it so the kids and schools are already tracking so it’s better at the moment to just keep doing it and keep a good relationship with the schools. Our prizes for reading are just free books and a super reader signs.We also have passports that kids get when they sign up. These have fun challenges like visiting the library, attending a summer program, and checking out a nonfiction book. Every time they get a stamp on their passport they get to add a sticker to our sticker wall!
The BIG incentive this year was to get me to dye my hair blue. During school visits I challenged the kids to read 1,000 hours. Once they completed that I would dye my hair blue. They were rockstars and finished in less than 3 weeks.
I did my programming a little bit different this summer which allowed for a lot more flexibility on my end. Going with the theme of “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ” all of my programs started with “On Your Mark, Get Set…” Here is an example of fliers for a couple of them:
As you can maybe see in the flier, I just have a one or two word description of what each program will specifically be. This allowed me to have my daily (!!) programs while also not stressing myself out too much. For EXPERIMENT and one other program I did have help but otherwise it was just me.
Here are some program highlights (aka the only times I actually remembered to take pictures!). If you have any questions about specific programs please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. Most of these programs are for grades K-5.
On Your Mark, Get Set… EXPERIMENT: Sink or Float.
At the beginning of the program I read the book Things that Float and Things that Don’t by David A. Adler
Station 1: Sink or Float
Table of different items and a tub of water!
Station 2: Make a Boat
Table of items that could potentially be made into boats: tin foil, styrofoam, cardboard, plastic, tape, etc. They then would test their boats float-ability by adding pennies and/or rocks!
On Your Mark, Get Set…CREATE: Caldecott
This was one of my favorite programs of the summer! I started by reading some favorites by Jon Klassen and Lois Ehlert. We then talked as a group about the art in each book. After that they got to use the books as reference to create their own Caldecott inspired art!
This one was a two part series…
On Your Mark, Get Set…CREATE: Design mini golf holes
I literally just had a bunch of random supplies (“trash”) and big posterboard. Each group could design a mini golf hole on the posterboard using whatever they wanted.
On Your Mark, Get Set… MOVE: Mini golf in the library!
A week later we got to play mini golf in the children’s room using the holes they created! This was a TON of fun for both kids and parents and I will definitely be doing it again
On Your Mark, Get Set… EXPERIMENT: Egg Drop
Again, I just got a bunch of random supplies (“trash”, are you seeing a theme here…) and a couple dozen eggs and let them experiment! Some kids love their little egg trap contraption the they ended up taking it home… with the egg still inside.
Our summer series event this summer was Explorer’s Club. We met weekly and the kids got to pick what we discussed. At our first meeting I asked them what they knew about nature and the outdoors and then what they wanted to know or learn more about. I used those lists to help me plan the next few weeks. At the end of the month we went camping. Literally. Like, in tents. Parents were 100% required to come and we camped at a local park (yay for great partnership with our parks & rec) that is secluded and BEAUTIFUL. The above picture is our 6:30am hike.
Overall, it was a busy but very rewarding summer but I am glad to have a couple months break until we start planning for the summer of 2017….