Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Reading Program: The Report

Sure, you want to read my 5-page summer reading report! The formatting's weird because I pasted it. Have fun!
Children and Teen Summer Reading Program 2010
Matheson Memorial Library
The Numbers
  • We had a great response for the summer reading program this year!
  • We distributed 80 baby bags (community information and board book) to children under 2
  • 645 children age 3 – 12 signed up for the regular summer reading program
  • 60 teens signed up for the new teen summer reading program.
  • We had a total of 785 children and teens participating in the summer reading program and every child received a free book!
We did a LOT of reading this summer!
  • 193 children read 10 hours and received a free pass to the State Parks, Old World Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee Planetarium (passes donated through the Lakeshores Library System)
  • 83 children read over 20 hours and received a free pizza from Sperino’s Little Italy
  • 56 children read over 30 hours and received a free one-day pass to the Walworth County Fair
  • We distributed approximately 1900 prizes – that’s well over 3800 hours of reading (children read 2 – 4 hours for a prize, depending what point they reached in their log)
  • 22 of the teens who signed up for summer reading turned in reviews – most of them read 5 or more books for the program!
Our storytimes and programs were also a great success! We had 38 programs, including storytimes, performers, craft programs, and a total of 1472 attendees.

Favorite Anecdotes of the Summer!
  • A mom and her kids told me – with great excitement – “We don’t need to turn the TV on all day this summer, we have bags of books!”
  • Another mom told me her young daughter, after signing up for the summer reading program, has become interested in learning to read and now she looks at books and tells her mother what she thinks the pictures are about (this is a first step in reading readiness!)
  • One family went camping – and the kids took their flashlights and read the whole time!
  • Two of our middle school boys found the rockers up in the teen area and came in every day for several hours to read the books they found on the new shelf.
  • Our 700th summer reader stayed up reading all night after she signed up so she could win a prize before the program ended!
Summer Donors and Community Partners
Special thanks to all our summer donors and partners who helped make the summer reading program a success!
· Elkhorn Fund - $500 grant for summer reading books
· Kiwanis - $200 grant for summer reading books
· State Parks, Milwaukee Planetarium, and Old World Wisconsin – passes for summer readers
· Sperino’s Little Italy – free pizza coupons for summer readers
· Walworth County Fair – free one-day pass for summer readers
· Deakin’s Isle and Circle of Friends – Beanie Babies for prizes
· Library patrons – small prize donations

The Summer Reading Program – Next Year!
We have lots of exciting plans for the summer reading program next year! Some of the changes we’ll be seeing…
  • The Summer Reading Program will become the Summer Reading Club!
  • There will be a separate club for ages 0 – 5, specifically encouraging caregivers to read aloud and including reading readiness suggestions.
  • The Summer Reading Club for ages 6 – 12 will have a new component where they can visit the library, attend library programs, and participate in outdoor activities as part of their summer reading log.
  • The Teen Summer Reading Club will last into August and we hope to have enough donations to have a prize drawing each week.
  • We’re looking at ways to do online registration and save some time for everyone next year.
  • As always, there will be lots of reading, fun prizes, and great programs!
The Summer Reading Program – The Evaluation
Summer Reading Program age 0 – 2
  • Parents were happy to receive the bag and board book, but only a few parents asked for them. Several parents expressed interest in having a simple program for children that would allow them to participate as well as help parents remember to read aloud to their younger children. I will be planning a separate program for age 0 – 5 next year
Summer Reading Program age 3 – 12
  • The new reading log was more efficient, but there was some confusion over how many reading squares should be filled in. As always, the most registrations and participation came from the 7 – 10 age groups. Although our registration grew, we still have about the same number completing 10 hours (first page of the log, considered “completing” the program). Our main donations this year were towards the free books distributed with registration. I will be redesigning the reading log to make it more efficient and less confusing, considering lengthening the program to give kids more time to finish, looking at online registration, and changing the 3-12 age group to 6 – 12, so this group more accurately reflects the participating ages.
Summer Reading Program – teens
  • Most of our registered teens were 13 – 15. Only about 20 of the 60 registered teens turned in a review to win a drawing prize. I will be concentrating on the 13 – 15 age group and encouraging 16 and up to join the adult program next year. I plan to have a weekly drawing, instead of one drawing at the end, to encourage participation and work on a way for teens to participate online.
Weekly Summer Programs
  • Pattie Woods continues to have strong attendance at her toddler and baby storytimes. I covered several toddler storytimes for Pattie over the summer and was able to talk to parents of younger children about their needs in the library. Parents appreciated the later storytime (10:30 instead of 9:30) and would like a gate across the children’s play area (I’ve added it to my wishlist).
  • Preschool storytime had a small but steady attendance. Moving the time a little earlier helped, but I think we just don’t have enough children not already involved in preschool or summer school to come to multiple storytimes on the same morning. We’ll be having only one preschool storytime in the fall and it will be on Thursday morning, so there won’t be conflict with other storytimes.
  • Wii Gaming for kids was popular, but it’s a program that naturally limits the number of participants. We’ll be having different after school programs on Wednesdays in the future, so we probably won’t be repeating this program. The teens weren’t really interested in the Wii; I think some of them didn’t realize we’d moved it to the teen area. If we want to continue this program, someone will need to supervise it upstairs for longer hours, possibly later in the afternoon and evening.
  • Messy Crafts was a huge success! We had an average of 20 kids at every program. We’ll be keeping this as a summer program on Thursday afternoons every year.
Special Summer Programs
  • Our summer reading kick-off was very successful and the kids and adults loved the illusionist, The Amazing Al – who was very, very affordable.
  • I had about 20 kids come to the Tween Favorites Book Club, where they did a craft and had a chance to check out the new books. I plan to have this again next summer, although I’ll probably call it something else, and possibly add a “real” book club for tweens.
  • We had a good group for the Babysitting Workshop and as long as Mary Kennedy is willing to do this program we’ll continue it. It’s a good refresher for kids planning to start babysitting over the summer.
  • The Twilight party was very disappointing. I think our publicity isn’t reaching teens at all, because I had a lot of teens afterwards who were surprised to find out we’d had a Twilight program and very disappointed that they’d missed it. Next year, when our Facebook usage has increased, I think this or something similar would be popular.
  • We also had very low attendance for the Walworth County Cloggers. Most of the attendees were parents or friends who had come along with the group. I think part of the problem was that we were closed the Monday before. I’ll consider our holiday closure schedule before I plan any more performers around the Fourth.
  • We had an average group for our author, Sharon Hart Addy. I’d like to get someone a little better known next year, but that will depend on our budget.
  • We had a mostly good attendance for the storywagons, helped out by Lakeland Little Learners bringing a bus of kids for each program. They are very well-organized and well-behaved and I plan to work with them to get their kids participating in summer reading more next year.
  • We had a small but very excited group for the teen end of summer reading party. Again, the more teens find us on Facebook, the better attendance we’ll get. I plan to do some teen book clubs and craft programs starting in the fall and although it will probably take time and patience we should start seeing increased teen participation next summer.
  • We had a great time at our end of summer reading party! One of my volunteers made us a piƱata at the last minute and it was a huge hit!
    We had an overall successful summer reading program this year. If you have suggestions or community feedback, please pass it on to me. As always, I’ll be changing and improving programs for next summer, always keeping in mind our goals are to keep kids reading and have fun!

    Jennifer Wharton
    Youth Services Library
    Matheson Memorial Library

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