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Promoting Early Literacy with Summer Reading Programs

Welcome to Summer Reading time! With so many families coming to the library for books and movies and programs, it's a great time to promote early literacy!

I wanted to share something my library is doing that I think is especially cool. At Arapahoe Library District, we have 4 programs every summer--one for babies and toddlers, one for kids, one for teens, and one for adults.

To participate in the adult program, patrons just need to fill out a slip with the name of the book or audio book they have read. These slips are entered in a weekly raffle for prizes, which include books, bookbags, and local coupons.

The cool thing is, this year adults can enter the raffle 3 different ways: For the first two ways, they can read or listen to a book, or they can login to our new website and comment online about a book that they've read.

The third way they can enter is by reading to a child 3 times per week! They can just check this box on our entry slips and qualify for the weekly raffle.

This is a little addition to our summer reading program, but what a fun one. Not only do adults get credit and recognition for all the reading they do with the children in their lives, but everyone who fills out a form sees the check box that says, "I promoted literacy by reading to a child at least three times this week." This is a great way to reinforce the importance of reading to kids to all the adults who take part in our summer reading program!

What is your library doing this summer to promote early literacy? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you!


Early literacy and summer reading

We are a small, rural library in Colorado. We started with the basics this year, planning some separate programs for babies through age six-ish kiddos. (Programs in the past have always been for families with kids of all ages attending.) Our programs are outdoors so we can be very active and very noisy. I have many opportunities throughout each program to share tips with parents about how early literacy happens and why we are doing the silly things we are doing. Personally, my greatest hope is that I can model what works--and encourage parents to do more of the same at home! So I select rhymes, songs, and games that are VERY simple and very participatory. Response so far has been great!

BabetteR, The Passionate Librarian

Summer Reading for Adults


I LOVE that idea - giving adults credit for reading aloud to children as part of their summer reading club. I'm totally stealing that one and sharing it with our adult SRC organizers!


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