Thursday, March 8, 2018

Rock Your Summer Reading Program With Collections & Get Kids Reading All Summer Long!

With another school year ending and the summer here, that means it is time to celebrate learning and reading all summer long with a wonderful summer program for your students and community.  

This year the theme is Libraries Rock! and I couldn't be more excited about what this will mean for school libraries, public libraries and communities as we develop a meaningful summer reading program and put the right reading resources into the hands of our children all summer long.  

As a librarian and mom, summer reading always means so much to me and my family. 
Not only do we spend a lot of time with books we have gathered at home throughout the year, we also visit local public libraries to look for books to read....
 and share with family and friends throughout the summer.
My youngest son, Hagan, who is going to be in 8th grade next fall, also reads online a lot too.  He enjoys reading sports news on his phone in the morning, eBooks on his iPad, and loves digging in deeper to different topics using the online databases from school and the state.  One summer he even used Biblionasium to start his own eBook reading challenge. He set a goal for himself and kept track of the eBooks he read (he was into states that summer), writing reviews and recommending them to classmates along the way.

Hagan's plan actually gave me the idea the next summer to focus our school summer reading program not only around our print books in the library, but to include the eBooks and databases within our program, along with open educational resources, digital tools and apps, and more.  It was a terrific way for our digital library collection to be used all summer long and I saw the usage increase and continue throughout the entire school year.

And as we get ready for another awesome summer of reading, I can't think of anything better to bring all of these resources together than with Collections by Destiny!

Let's take a look at how Collections can be used by all of the different people in your community.
As librarians to kick off summer reading you can create a special Collection to include all of these resources. This will give our readers a place to go to connect to reading and to the library.

I created the Libraries and Reading Rocks All Summer Long At Our Library Collection to give you a few ideas on how this might look for your school library. Feel free to use this with your students and community or make a copy with changes and additions.

Even though this Collection contains lots of different digital tools and resources, your Collection could include just library resources too.  Collections could even be created to focus on certain themes such as Summer Reading At The Zoo.  

Teachers will also find so many benefits in creating Collections for their students.  These Collections could be created around a topic decided on together as a class or a school community.  They could also focus on reteaching or content coming in the next school year.  Perhaps there is a reading list for the fall that you'd love to get into their hands before the new year.

Teachers and librarians can collaborate on Collections together so that makes the content and organization even more powerful.
And don't forget the students and how they can have a voice in creating Collections too!

I helped Hagan create his own Collection today on all of his favorite places to read.  These resources include eBooks, audio books and places online.  Hags loves sports....ESPN, the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Chicago Cubs, the Green Bay Packers! He now has a special place to not only read from, but to curate and save all of his favorites teams, sports and moments he wants to remember too.

You can check out Hagan's Summer Reading Collection here. We hope that his Collection gives you inspiration and ideas on how to use this with your students too.

When you use Collections and ways to connect your students to all these amazing resources, make sure that you promote and share them with your community in lots of different ways.  You need to make sure everyone knows they are there.  

You can share the Collections in an online newsletter and the schools website; tweet it out and share on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat; make sure it is added to the front page of the school website; visit classrooms, collaborate with the teachers and invite them to the library to share; meet parents and spread the word through school and sporting events; and don't forget to collaborate with the public librarian to bring your summer reading efforts together too.  
And one of my all-time biggest hits for sharing the summer reading is to create a bookmark or card to send home with students and families.  I did this every summer and had such great response and activity from the QR code and URL I included.  

When you create summer reading Collections, you can take the URL and turn it into a short URL with, create a QR code for them to scan to get to the Collection, and then include all of these on the bookmark or card. 

For the summer reading bookmark above, I created....
the Libraries Rocks...2018 Summer Reading Program Collection by Destiny and then turned it into the, QR code and bookmark too.  

I would LOVE to hear the ideas that you have for sharing summer reading programs with your library and school community.
We know that it is essential for children to read over the summer to prevent the summer slide and have them be ready for success and happiness in the fall.  The research and ideas for summer reading with kids on this infographic from our friends at Follett is a great place to start.  It includes several important tips, statistics and articles that will help us prepare for our own summer reading programs.  

You will find the Prevent the Summer Slide Infographic here

I love the summer with my family and one of the main reasons is all the reading that we get to do.  This was one of the best parts of being a librarian too.  We have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our readers not just during the school year, but over the summer months.  

This summer let's make our lives of readers rock through reading.

Please share your ideas for using Collections to rock summer reading within your library, classroom and community too! 

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