Remember those days where schools assigned summer reading for your next level English class the following school year? I LOVED THAT TIME!!! I was the kid who read all the books on the list instead of the one we were supposed to choose. Each summer, the local Borders Bookstores (RIP) had the summer lists ready to go on freshly printed paper for each grade and school in the area. I loved perusing the stacks laid out on the tables for the special occasion. No longer in that age, I find myself wondering what that looks like to encourage reading throughout the summer and long break between school.
Being a library cardholder for 2 establishments (shh!!), I recently inquired about any summer programs that were happening. Fortunately, both libraries had unique summer adventures for varying age groups, 18+ being one of them (SCORE!) My local library’s program is about how many books you can read and log in between June 1st and August 1st. “All ages are invited to log your time reading, attend programs, complete missions and play games to earn points toward awesome prizes!” One of my friends who used to live nearby actually won a few years ago – a basket full of goodies and gift cards! The city library I am a cardholder for has a different approach:
Use your passport as a guide to your Summer Adventure. Record your reading and other learning activities all summer long, and check in at the Library once per week to earn prizes. Each time you check in, you will get a stamp in your passport and a scratch card that will reveal your prize! Weekly check-in starts June 3. At each weekly check-in, you will also be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize. Each week also has a theme to serve as a guide for fun and engaging activities that encourage learning all summer.
The themes of each week include the arts, pop culture, technology, science, sports, and more! How cool is that too?!
Sometimes, I have mixed feelings about using incentives for something. I guess it is always an “It depends” situation. My hope is that regardless of the prize that is being offered for completion of some activity, that there is a continual and habitual use of that practice. That the person has it instilled as a part of their life and not a short-term thing. We want the knowledge and action to stick and become natural, so you got to start somewhere! I’ll be honest, I do read pretty regularly with my own personal incentives and reasons for doing so. However, seeing the possibility of earning a reward for doing what I already love to do, that is a different sort of motivation. I am happy that reading is constantly being instilled in kids of all ages, even though there is no guarantee that it will stick as they become more mature and independent.
How do you encourage summer reading?