Monday, December 11, 2023

The Bridge Between School Years: Summer Reading Programs See High Levels of Participation

WJCC summer school students choosing a free book to keep during WRL’s Free Book Week with WJCC Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Olwen Herron (Photo/Williamsburg Regional Library)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — Reading is a common activity over the summer months. For some, it’s a way to prepare for the next school year, and for others, it’s a challenge to see how much they can read.

Here’s a roundup of how summer reading went for the libraries in the Historic Triangle this year:

Williamsburg Regional Library

The Williamsburg Regional Library summer reading program began on June 1, with participants still able to log books through the end of August. The program is open for all ages to participate with categories for children, teens, and adults. All levels offer prizes for reading a certain number of books throughout the summer.

The Williamsburg Regional Library said both the adult and children’s programs see high participation each year. As of Aug. 15 is 4,364 children and 1,214 adults were participating. The children’s program includes paid, trained staff who listen to book reports given by children each week, which is how the children earn their prizes.

Summer Reading also includes fun and educational events from June through August. The program is made possible thanks to support from the Friends of WRL Foundation, the Herbert Friedman Library Fund, and other donors.

“We had a great turnout at all our fun programs, the kids loved the coupons and prizes we had this year, and they were thrilled about taking home a new book to keep during Free Book Week,” said Ben Strohm, Youth Services Director for WRL. “Summer Reading is vital because it keeps kids in the habit of reading during summer break, encourages them to read and discover things they’re interested in, and helps to set them up for a lifetime of literacy and learning.”

York County Library

York County Library‘s Reading Challenges was offered to both youth and adult participants and ran from June 29 to Aug. 12. The program had a total of 1,218 participants, 330 of which were adults and 888 youths. Participation has reportedly increased by 15% since last year.

“Participating in the summer reading program is a fun way for students of all ages to maintain their reading skills for the upcoming school year. Summer reading programs help make required reading fun and they are also a great way for everyone to explore new genres and subjects making a person a well-rounded and educated citizen,” said Kevin Smith, Director of Library Services for York County.

Poquoson Public Library

Poquoson Public Library hosted a Summer Reading Carnival on Aug. 16 to celebrate the success of its program participants. The event had a variety of activities and games for the registered participants to enjoy.

The Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia noted that children and teens who attended summer reading programs performed better academically and experienced greater gains in their academic performance than their nonparticipating peers.  Participants outperformed nonparticipants on tests across all measures and grades, kindergarten through 8th grade.

To learn more about the libraries and their various programs, visit their web pages.

Related Articles