School is officially out in Bossier and you know what THAT means: SUMMER READING PROGRAM TIME!
Most of us are more familiar with the term "Summer Reading Program," but THIS year, the Bossier Library System decided to change the name of their summer program to "Summer Experience" to describe everything that they really offer over the summer!
They will host innovative programs and events for readers of all ages this summer providing oh-so-much more than just reading, it will truly be an EXPERIENCE!
The program will run May 22-July 31. Yep, you guessed it: this means that Registration is now OPEN! Now, if you've participated in previous years, you should already have an active account, so there really isn't a need to create a new one.
You can begin logging your reading hours as SOON as the program portal opens on May 22. Be careful though, you will want to make SURE and stay on top of logging those reading hours so that the last day and deadline to log your reading time (July 31) doesn't sneak up on you.
There literally is a way the entire family can participate together with a category for Babies, Toddlers. Preschoolers. Children. Teens. Adults. Literally Everyone can join in together! They understand that reading is important for everybody in the community no matter what the age, and how reading is a skill that grows with lots of practice.
After all, reading is free and easy to do because can you read whatever you like, whenever you like at your own pace! Plus, it's fun, easy, and a great way of showing support for your local library and its services.
Everybody is encouraged to participate AND better yet, the library system has programs and rewards for all age groups from 0-100 AND BEYOND! Yep, even if your child is too young to read by themselves, the books that you read to them will count towards their reward (and yours too!)
You don't even have to have a library card in order to participate, but it sure helps if you do. Plus, it's FREE and comes with a LOT of cool perks and benefits! Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun. The only time you would absolutely HAVE to have a library card would be if you wanted or needed to check out library materials.
Ready to get started? Here's how:
- Choose your branch and register online (registration opens April 27). This will be the branch where you claim your prizes, so choose the branch that is most convenient for you. (Remember: if you've participated in years past, you already have an account so there isn't any need to create a new account)
- Keep track of your reading time by logging hours (online or through the app). If you don't have access to a smart-phone, tablet, computer or Internet, you can grab a paper reading log from your chosen branch to help you keep track.
- Get prizes when you meet reading goals!
What are my reading goals?
- Ages 0-5 (Read-to-Me Readers)
- Half Goal = 2 hours
- Full Goal = 4 hours
- Can continue up to next level (8 hours) for a bonus prize
- Ages 6-12 (Independent Readers)
- Half Goal = 4 hours
- Full Goal = 8 hours
- Can continue up to next level (12 hours) for a bonus prize
- Ages 13-18 (Teen Readers)
- Half Goal = 6 hours
- Full Goal = 12 hours
- Can continue up to next level (16 hours) for a bonus prize
- Ages 18+ (Adult Readers)
- Half Goal = 8 hours
- Full Goal = 16 hours
- Can continue up to next level (20 hours) for a bonus prize
How do I claim my prize?
Once you meet your half OR full goal, you will be notified online or through the app that you have met one or both goal(s.) Simply stop by your chosen branch at your leisure and pick up your prize (prizes must be picked up in person).
(If you don't have access to the app or internet, just bring your paper log into your chosen branch to claim your prize!)
What books am I required to read?
You literally can choose to read ANYTHING! You can read ANY books you'd like. And yes, audiobooks DO count! Audiobooks aren't cheating. Okay, okay, read that AGAIN: once more WITH FEELING! AUDIOBOOKS AREN'T CHEATING. You know what else isn't ALSO isn't cheating? Graphic novels...that's RIGHT, boys & girls, Moms & Dads, graphic novels & comic books COUNT because they're BOOKS!
Know what this ALSO means? Remember that bedtime story you've read for the umpteenth time in a row night after night after night to your toddler?...Yep, THAT one, well that counts, too!
Just remember to keep track of ALL the time you spend reading to the kiddos, and log it on your own account (as well as theirs because they probably haven't quite figured out how to actually read JUST YET) so yes, THAT counts toward your own reading goals too. EVERYBODY can win something in this experience!
WHY ARE SUMMER LIBRARY PROGRAMS IMPORTANT?
Summer library programs encourage babies and toddlers, kids and students, and especially entire families to read, too. Traditionally, summer reading programs are designed to encourage school-aged children to keep reading over summer break.
It's in theory designed to prevent what educators love to call "The Summer Slide" and of course that's what all libraries want to be the main objective of their summer programs, but to make this an experience, they hope to get the entire FAMILY on board together!
For many families, the public library is the ONLY community space available during the summer months where they can access free educational and cultural enrichment activities and programs and fun.
Benefits of summer library programs for kids include:
- Children are motivated to read. Reading for fun during the summer helps children maintain or improve their skills so that they are ready to start school again in the fall.
- Children develop positive attitudes about reading books, and the library by giving them rewards for meeting reading goals.
- Children maintain their reading skills during summer break from school. Studies have shown that children who read during the summer are more able to maintain their reading skills and that children who see their parents read, or who read with their parents, generally score higher on standardized tests.
- Children have access to experiences that further their sense of discovery & broaden the imagination.
- Children have access to experiences through which they can learn to work cooperatively.
SO HOW DO I SIGN UP, AGAIN?
Register online HERE. If you have participated in years past, you already have an active account so there isn't any need to create a new one. You can also download the ReadSquared app (available for free in the Apple or Google Play store) to register and track your reading hours.
If you don't have access to the Internet, a smart phone, or tablet or you have trouble getting registered, you can always drop by your local branch and they can hook you up or give you a paper log to track your hours with.
Keep in mind that the branch you choose will be the branch you will log your reading hours for, and will visit to claim your prizes, so make sure to choose the branch that is most convenient for YOU.
Don't forget: If you have participated in the summer program last year, and had an online account, then your account still exists, you just need to log in and choose the correct age range to reactivate it for this year's Summer Experience.
Be sure to join the Bossier Parish Libary System's FACEBOOK GROUP to stay up-to-date on ALL of their SUMMER EXPERIENCE news, programming, activities, and updates! So what are you waiting for? Let's grab a good book and go on an imagination adventure and win some cool prizes while we're at it! See you at the library!
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