BONNYVILLE – Summer is as good a time as any to get lost in a good book, and local kids could win prizes for doing so.
The Bonnyville Municipal Library has brought back its popular summer reading program, with some changes to fit provincial health protocols and keep little readers safe.
“It’s an opportunity to keep kids reading and engaged in books, language, and literacy all summer,” said library program manager Kat Eliason.
Registration is open to children from six- to 12 years-old, and there’s several prizes to be won. This year, children don't even need to be able to make it into the library to participate.
“Normally, we would have in-house programming where kids could come, play, do crafts, and bring in their reading logs weekly to get them checked off,” Eliason said, adding keeping track of reading hours is being done online and they'll be posting videos to get kids engaged throughout the week.
“As a way to encourage kids to watch these videos, or do the different activities that I’m putting out in the videos, I’ll also have a code word in the video so then they can add that to their log. For every two programs that they watch they’ll also earn ballots for the prizes.”
Participants can rack up ballots for reading and completing activities, which will be put in a draw for prizes at the end of August.
According to Eliason, the videos will remain up all summer long and can be accessed whenever's convenient. There will also be activities for teens, such as scavenger hunts and bingo sheets.
Keeping kids reading during the summer holidays is the goal of the program, to keep them from going down the "summer slide."
“If kids stop reading all summer what happens is their literacy skills take a couple of steps backwards or they plateau, and they’re not as prepared or as capable going into the next school year as they were leaving the previous school year,” Eliason detailed. “There’s sometimes a lot of catch up with their reading and literacy skills that they had developed through the previous school year and then they slide or have a slump.”
The summer reading program allows participants to practice their literacy skills throughout July and August.
“It’s a great way to keep those skills because, especially with kids, reading and writing skills are things we have to practice. They don’t just sit there and stay strong, even as adults. If you haven’t read for a long time, then you notice that maybe you’re reading a little more slowly or things like that,” Eliason explained.
Beginning July 1, those participating have until Aug. 20 to record their reading times. All ballots must be submitted by the end of the day on Aug. 24, and the grand prize draw will be made on Aug. 27.
For more information, visit bonnyvillelibrary.ab.ca.