20 minutes aaaaand Go!

Summer funHere at Winnipeg Public Library Youth Services we’ve been getting ready for summer for some time and for good reason:  it’s our busiest, most program-filled time of the year.  Our goal is to provide you and your family with quality programs and services that are full of learning opportunities and – of course – lots of fun!

But it’s MORE than just fun and games
Our summer programming for children and families has some serious purpose behind it, though.  Just Google “summer learning loss” and you’ll see what I’m getting at.  The learning backslide that can take place over July and August can really eat into all the progress to be made come the fall (one study noted that teachers can spend between 4 and 6 weeks re-teaching material).  And, of course, it’s no surprise that summer learning loss is even more of an issue for families that don’t have ready access to a wide range of high-interest reading material for their children.  This fact sheet,  produced by Scholastic, talks a bit about the consequences of income gaps but also clues you in to some great, research-based “good news” about preventing summer learning loss (Hint:  having a ton of great reading material around the house and letting children pick what they like goes a long way to getting – and staying – school-ready.)

Brother and sister reading together

Here’s where we come in!  Year-round, Winnipeg Public Library provides you access to thousands of titles to make reading an enjoyable – and totally affordable – habit for children and families.

Remember we offer both both print and eBook  formats. For eBook options you’ll definitely want to check out all our Tumblebook products, along with BookFlix and Disney Online eBooks – all available to you streaming and free with your Library card.

Beyond our collections we layer on a wide-range of programs for children of all ages and, in the summer,  an amazing reading incentive program:  the TD Summer Reading Club.  (Here’s the link to the national program’s website, with great art by illustrator Matt James.)

A daily habit

This year we’re running our TD Summer Reading Club (theme: Go!  so get ready for travel and adventure-inspired programming!) just a bit differently.  Instead of tracking the number of books that children read (or that families read together) we’re encouraging participants to track 20 minutes of reading a day.  This change reflects the growing consensus that many of the benefits that come from being a strong reader are based more on the activity being part of a regular routine (versus how many titles a child may be able to complete in a given time).

Our goal is to help you make your children life-long readers and we think encouraging this kind of consistency through programs like the TD Summer Reading Club does just that.  If you’re looking for ideas for ways to get going with 20-minutes-a-day, this tip sheet may help.  (And be sure to check out this neat infographic on why not to skip that 20 minutes!)

So what are you waiting for?

We launch our Summer Reading program this Saturday, June 22nd at the Millennium Library.  Join us at 10:30 a.m. in the Children’s Services area for a celebration featuring members of the Goldeyes, mascot Goldie and the zany musical talents of Mr. Mark the One Man Band! (Note: the last time Mr. Mark was on stage with Goldeyes players at the library, the players all ended up with buckets on their heads, getting played like human drums. It should be a good show!).  Be among the first in the city to get your free Summer Reading kit complete with an activity booklet, stickers, a fun passport, bookmarks and – most important of all – your reading tracking calendar (track all those 20-minute days for chances to win all kinds of great prizes).

Stay tuned to winnipeg.ca/library to check in with our @ the Library newsletter when it hits our homepage later this week.  It will have the full listings of all our programming options for you and your family.  In the meantime, our Summer Reading page with links is up and running – have a look here.

Happy reading – see you at the Library this summer!


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