The Eckville Municipal Library wants to make the summer as educational a time for local youth as the school year, with the return of its Summer Reading Program. This program’s theme this year will be Canada’s 150th anniversary, and reading for those who register will focus specifically on Canadian and Albertan reading material.
“It’s for kids 5-12 years of age, and it’s one day a week – usually it’s Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon,” said Library Manager Carol Griner in a call with the Eckville Echo. “This year, we’re doing it all on Canada.”
Although there isn’t a specific list available of what sorts of reading and activities the program will offer, Griner said that this year’s Summer Reading Program will follow a similar structure as the ones in previous years.
“We’re going to doing games with prizes, and [we will have] them reading a lot of books – that type of thing,” said Griner. “It’s quite popular in town – last year there were 25-30 kids registered.”
Reading in the program typically consists of a range of books that are interesting and legible to many youth age groups. Griner said that “we usually read one story to them, and they get to pick out whatever books they want, too. This year, we’re going to encourage them to pick out Canadian and Albertan authors that are suitable for their age group.”
Children enrolled in the program are also encouraged to bring books home and read them, so they can bring them back and have their successful reads tallied up. Last year, children enrolled in the program read a total of over 300 books over the course of six weeks.
Although planning for this year’s program is still in the works, Griner noted that one of the activities will be the building of an igloo replica outside the library, using four-litre milk jugs. There will also be trivia premised on Canadian and Albertan knowledge to test childrens’ knowledge of their country and province.
“We have quite a selection of Canadian books, that we can use this year,” said Griner. “With our trivia questions, we’ll be asking them ‘who did what’ kinds of questions. We’ll give them little booklets, and that’s where they’ll enter trivia answers, and the titles of the books [they read] and stuff like that.”
Griner said the overarching goal of the Summer Reading Program is maintenance – to ensure that local youth retain what skills in reading and comprehension they had leaving school, so that “when they finish school in June, they don’t just forget about reading. When they go back in September, we want them to keep at that grade level they made.”
She added, “If we can keep them active in using books here, that helps them a lot when they go back to class.”
Although specific dates for the Summer Reading Program were not available before the press deadline of the Eckville Echo, more information can be obtained by contacting the Eckville Municipal Library at 403 746 3240.