Well, school's officially out, and with a vengeance. We're still getting used to the new traffic patterns-- a complete flip of the ones during the school year! Now we're crazy busy during the day and slower at night. There's also a lot fewer reference questions and a lot more on readers advisory. It's a fun change of pace, but it's amazing how overnight the change can be!
Of course, we're madly signing people up for summer reading. Every summer we run 4 different summer reading programs-- one for birth-4, one for rising K-7, one for rising 7-12 (rising 7 can choose their program) and one for adults.
For the youngest program, we have a sheet with 15 activities on it-- read seven books in a week, read a bedtime story, sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," draw a picture of the moon and stars, etc. Every month, the kids do any 3 activities to get their prize (and the parents are more than welcome to warp the activities a bit so they work for their child) .
For the elementary school set, the kids have to read 8 books a month to get their prize. We used to do it a bit more like the pre-K program, but with age-appropriate activities. We also used to measure time instead of books read. We went to a straight "read X number of books" to simplify things this year. Personally, I think time is a better measure then number of books read, but I am not queen of the world.
For both the programs, we have a "prize menu" so the kids can choose which prizes they want.
For the teen program, they have a few bigger prizes that there's a drawing for. You get an entry into the drawing for ever 4 hours you read.
The adults have to read 3 books to get their first prize, and another 3 books to get their second prize.
And, for the all the programs, you can read with your ears.
For the kids programs, we're doing the Dream Big, READ! Theme (teens are doing Own the Night and for the adults we went with evening theme and it's Reading Under the Covers). We're giving out pencils and glow stick necklaces, food coupons, and piggy banks in the shape of a star. We also have some Oriole's tickets and DC United is giving out a free children's ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket, so some good prizes. (Teen prizes are TOP SECRET. Even I don't know what they are.)
One thing we're doing at our branch is we have several die-cut paper stars and every time one of the kids comes in to claim their prize, we write his or her name on a star and hang it up. We're looking forward to our walls filling up with stars as the summer goes on. We already have a dozen up, and school just got out on Friday!
So far it's been a busy summer, with lots of large groups signing up and using the branch (especially today, as it's raining!) but I'm looking forward to it. I missed last summer because of maternity leave, so I'm very excited this year.
If nothing else, everyone gets to see Miss Jennie's rotating collection of Summer Reading T-Shirts from summers past....