Summer Reading Offsite: West Central Community Center
This summer the library had a unique opportunity to present summer reading to a group of children who don’t have a library close to their neighborhood. Through a grant from Altrusa International, the library hosted a reading program at West Central Community Center (WCCC) every Tuesday and Thursday this summer. The program featured some special performances, books to read, and volunteers to read to the kids. Around 50 kids participated each time, and the total number of kids reached through the program was close to 80. The volunteers were a key component of the program. They helped the kids pick out appropriate books, read books to them, and encouraged them to read independently.
The program has been really positive for all involved. Altrusa had started a lending library at WCCC last year and was thrilled to fund this program, which augmented the library and made sure it was actively used. Volunteers said that they could really see a difference throughout the summer, as the kids became more eager to read and borrow books. Volunteer Mary Butler shared, “As soon as we would bring out the bins of books there would be this buzz of excitement in the room. The first couple of visits were a bit chaotic, but the center staff and library staff were great and the kids quickly got used to the routine. We would sit down to read to the kids in small groups, and the groups would grow as more kids came over with the specific book they chose in hand, wanting to be read to.” As the groups grew, the volunteers would enlist some of the older kids to read to the younger kids, and they reported that the older kids seemed eager and proud to take this on.
The kids’ comfort level with books has really grown throughout the summer. Many were reluctant to take books home at first but now eagerly take them and report that they are also reading books they already had at home. Of course, part of the drive comes from wanting to finish their reading logs so they can choose a free book to keep, but judging from the activity in the room, they’re reading for enjoyment as well.
We’re very grateful to both Altrusa International of Spokane and to the West Central Community Center for collaborating with us on this program. The grant from Altrusa made this project possible and the volunteers have been wonderful!
pictured above: Altrusa volunteer, Sandy Eberle reading to a participant in the West Central Community Center’s summer program.
Librarians Love Summer Reading, Too!
Susanne Miller sees it in the children’s faces: their smiles when they find their names on the finishers’ board, their wide-eyed excitement at the pounding drumbeats, and their dropping jaws when the knights wield their swords. For her, moments like these capture the enthusiasm and energy Summer Reading brings to the library. And beyond the fun of the magic, drum and sword programs, Susanne sees firsthand Summer Reading’s biggest benefit: getting kids excited about books. She assembles a book display for each Summer Reading program, and the books fly off the shelves when the program date arrives.
Even better, the library offers books as Summer Reading prizes. “We reward reading with more reading,” says Susanne. That sums up the ultimate value of the program for her: She cites longstanding research showing that kids who read during the summer do better in school. And she notes that even children too young to read benefit—they learn quicker when others read to them.
Susanne, who only recently took charge of Youth Services at South Hill after more than 30 years as a non-youth librarian, credits youth programs with re-igniting her passion for her work. “I’m good for another 10 or 15 years now,” she says with a smile. We couldn’t be happier to hear that—and we’d bet the kids who frequent South Hill are, too.
Summer Reading in Numbers
We’re always interested in our Summer Reading program’s numbers—how many kids and teens participate, how many books get read, and how many books patrons check out. But there are plenty of other numbers that go along with Summer Reading, and here are a few you might enjoy! Check these out:
- 4,104 = Number of kids (and their accompanying adults) who attended the special programs at the libraries this summer!
- $0 = Cost to attend all of those programs
- $10,000 = Support from the Friends of the Library to purchase summer reading giveaway books and to pay for a portion of the special programming
- 1 = Number of great horned owls in attendance at a presentation at the South Hill Library
- 270 = Number of children fascinated by the owl that day
- 180 = Degrees a great horned owl can turn its head (their eyes are fixed, so they must turn their head)
- 976 = Kids and adults who saw Dick Frost’s magic shows this summer
- 6 = Minimum yards of fabric in an Indian sari
- 1951 = Year modern Taiko appeared in Japan
- 500 BC - 300 AD - Period that Taiko drums were brought to Japan from China
- 3 lbs = Average weight of a longsword, the primary weapon of knights in the Middle Ages
- 65 lbs = Weight of the armor worn by knights in the Middle Ages!
We like to review summer reading in pictures too, check our summer reading photo album on Facebook to relive summer at the library!
Looking for a copy of Packing for Mars? We have copies available on the Star Collection shelves in all the libraries. These copies cannot be reserved so if you're tired of being on the hold list try the Star Collection shelves, it might be your lucky day and you'll find a copy!
Freegal = Free Music = :)
Have you downloaded any songs from Freegal yet? Since we started there have been 5,902 songs downloaded for customers to enjoy and keep. Freegal is really easy to use and you can download three songs a week as long as your library card is in good standing and is a resident or paid county card. On Freegal you can see what the most popular songs are with our customers and compare them with nationwide popular songs – fun! Hot Chelle Rae and Adele rank at the top for both lists but Spokane is a little unique with the song, Smooth Criminal by 2 Cellos (Sulic & Hauser) making the top ten list; check it out!
Downloadable Audiobook & Ebook Update
If you use the library’s downloadable audiobooks or ebooks you’ll know that we recently experienced a change in service when our vendor was bought out by another vendor. We are continuing to work with the new vendor to make the services as user-friendly as possible. Please check the library’s website for the latest news on these services.
Fall Programming for Kids
We always work a few months ahead at the library. We’re planning summer reading in February and Fall programs in early August. That way we will have some fun lined up no matter what the season. This Fall is no different; stop by and pick up a program schedule or check our website and then mark your calendars for some fun at the library. Join us for:
Twinkle Twinkle: Star Celebration
Build-a-Palooza Autumn Edition
Let’s Make Music!
Join us for Bonnie and Clyde on September 14 at 5:30 at the Downtown Library. Free, of course!
Did you know that the word "astronaut" comes from astro (stars)
and naut (sailor)? A sailor of the stars. Mark your calendar for this
year's Spokane is Reading!
Was this your favorite book of 2011? Teens can exercise their right to vote...for their favorite book. Which of the 25 nominated books will make it to this year's top ten?! It's really up to you. Find out more here.
Our WorkSource lab is open for those needing assistance with job searches, resume preparation and other employment-related work.
South Hill's Heart of Spirituality book discussion group starts up again with a discussion of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist on Sept. 20 at 6:30.
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whatever - it's a good way to hear the latest about the library. "Share"
us with your "friends" so they'll "like" us too.