Each year, the Houston Public Library hosts a Summer Reading Club but this year, due to Covid, things for the summer club have moved online and the library is also doing some offline activities in the form of kids’ kits.
The Houston Public Library sponsors this summer club in cooperation with the BC Library Association, Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees British Columbia as it believes that regular reading through the summer helps children maintain or improve reading skills while school is out.
“Early in the year the Houston Library was starting to plan for this year’s Summer Reading Club: Explore Our Universe. Now that we are in a strange new weird world with Covid 19, the library has had to modify the program,” said the library Programmer, Jill MacKenzie.
The program, that runs for eight weeks, usually involves in-library activities in a group, as well as crafts-based activities around different themes each week. Children also received a reading record to keep track of all of their summer reading. With most things going digital his year, the library also took the same step. The complete program can be accessed online at www.bcsrc.ca however, the library also wanted to do some offline activities.
“With all the screen time happening now with distance learning, and people without access to computers, the Houston Library is also creating take home craft and activity kits that follow this year’s theme. There are also weekly prizes drawn and some virtual art shows planned,” said MacKenzie adding that each of these kits has some craft activity and supplies to make the craft. “Depending on the age group we also have coloring sheets for little kids and word searches and things like that for older kids.”
The registration for the summer reading club is free. This year, the library has 18 kids registered for the three to five age group and 55 kids registered for the six to twelve age group.
“We have had a really good turn out this year even though we don’t have in-library activities. The number is definitely down from previous years for sure, but it is still a pretty good turn out and we are very pleased,” said MacKenzie.
At the end of this program the library usually hosts a party and hands out prizes for the top readers for the summer however this year, the library doesn’t have any such plans yet.
“It is a no-pressure summer and we are still working on how this year’s summer reading club will be celebrated,” said MacKenzie.