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2019 Summer Reading Recap
The library is here for everyone – as is the library’s annual Summer Reading Program. Many children in our community may not get the opportunity to come into the library, so each year the library takes the Summer Reading program out into the community. This year we expanded our outreach to ensure that even more children were able to participate in our Summer Reading Challenge, explore science and technology, and take home free books.
The library collaborated with the Jamestown Public Schools LEAP program, the Jamestown Summer Playground Program, St. Luke’s Children of the Books, the Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA. This summer’s reading program enjoyed its most successful summer yet! The statistics below were sent to the New York State Library Department of Education, as we do each year at the end of our annual summer reading program.
1,117 children participated in summer reading this year, reading a total of 390,548 minutes over the summer, and earning 2,828 free books (thanks to Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant for providing the funding for all of the free books). Library staff members visited each of the Jamestown Public School System’s LEAP camps each week to hand out books for prizes and collect reading logs. Staff added up those reading logs and by the end of the summer, students at LEAP had read an average of 848 minutes each through the library’s summer reading program. That means each child at the LEAP camps read an average of 14 hours throughout the summer helping to reduce the “summer slide.”
All children who participated in summer reading had the chance to win grand prizes at the end of summer – two of this year’s winners were children participating through their summer camps.
Of course, the library has more to offer than solely books. The library’s Makerspace, funded by grants from the Holmberg Foundation, provides STEM activities all year round. These activities offer kids hands-on opportunities to learn through play. The library welcomed Love LEAP camp and Lincoln LEAP camp to our Makerspace, and took our Mobile Makerspace to visit all of the other participating groups.
With our Makerspace and Mobile Makerspace, the library was able to ensure that children throughout the community not only got to participate in summer reading, but also had the chance to strengthen their skills in science and technology. In total, 1,109 children and adults explored the library’s Makerspace during summer reading. Below is a graph depicting Makerspace participation figures during our 10-week summer reading program:
Our efforts are rewarded when we hear how we have touched a child’s life. One parent recently told a staff member that her daughter attended a LEAP camp and said, “she talked about the different books they were reading every day and mentioned that the library was handing out free books for reading a certain amount of time. She was very animated when she talked about building with Legos and learning about electrical circuits when you brought your Makerspace to the camp. She started begging me to bring her to the library to get her a library card so she could continue to read books.”
Although summer has ended, the library’s goal to reach children in the community remains a priority. The YMCA’s free summer lunch program, held at the library, served 1,105 lunches this past summer. Although the lunch program ended in August, the library continues to offer free after school snacks each day in the Makerspace, thanks to the ongoing generosity of 5 & 2 Ministries. Since the snack program began, in March of 2019, the library has provided after school snacks for 1,825 children.
The library’s efforts in reaching out to the community has also encouraged more families to visit the library and explore our resources. This is evident as our numbers continue to increase (the graph below depicts our Makerspace usage numbers). Thank you to all who support our efforts in serving the children in our community!