BCPS library media specialists helped boost summer reading

In addition to the work done by library media specialists, 541 BCPS middle school students served as summer reading volunteers, assisting with registration and assisting children and other patrons at the library branches.

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) just announced that 48,413 students participated in its 2012 Summer Reading Club – a record number – and that participation in the program has jumped almost 40 percent in the last few years. BCPL Director James Fish wrote that the Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Library Information Services, “school media specialists, principals, and other school faculty deserve a lot of the credit for this accomplishment.”

According to Della Curtis, coordinator of Library Information Services, BCPS recognizes the importance of summer reading, particularly as a way to prevent summer learning loss, and works to promote summer reading. Each year, for example, the Office of Library Information Services designs a summer reading Web site where ideas and promotional materials can be found as well as research about the importance of summer reading Making Summer Count - How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning..

Here is a sampling of what BCPS library media specialists do in their schools to promote involvement in the BCPL Summer Reading Club:

Chatsworth Elementary – Hosting a reading incentive assembly on September 24 for all students who participated in Chatsworth School’s Summer Reading Program.  During the program, Chatsworth teachers and administrators will act out the story The Napping House by Audrey Wood. 

Cockeysville Middle – Promoted it during the school book fair, which reaches every student.

Fifth District Elementary – Hosting a special picnic in September to recognize summer readers.

Franklin Middle -- Invited Rachael Medina, the outreach coordinator for the Reisterstown BCPL branch, to give summer reading presentations to students during their lunch shifts. She gave away prizes and helped create a real buzz about the program. The school also created its own program that students could complete while still meeting the requirements of the BCPL program. Participants had to read a Maryland Black Eyed Susan nominee. Then, this fall they’ll respond on a wiki about what they read over the summer, and they’ll get to attend a party. Also, having a Strive for 25 reading program at the school promotes leisure reading all year long.  

Hereford High – Prepared annotated reading lists and made them available and produced an Animoto video, which was shown on the morning announcements.

Martin Boulevard Elementary – Opened the school library for seven Thursdays over the summer as a satellite location for the BCPL program. Students could pick up their summer reading club gameboards and receive their reading prizes at the school’s library. School partner Chick-Fil-A gave free kids meal coupons to every child who visited the school library over the summer. Families who visited the school library over the summer were also entered into a drawing for tickets to attend an Orioles game in August. Five students and their families won. In addition, the school PTA awards each summer reader with a gift certificate to the school’s book fair, and the school hosts a Celebrate Books party in September for all of its summer reading club participants.

Divya Koindala, a Grade 8 student at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School, has volunteered at the Randallstown branch for two years. She says, “I want to share with kids a foundation for and a love of reading.”

Oakleigh Elementary – Had a faculty member dress up as Sneaks, the summer reading club mascot, during Field Day in May. Then in June, the school hosted a “wear your Sneaks shirt” day to recognize students who had already signed up for summer reading. On back-to-school night, earlier this month, the Parkville – Carney branch sent representatives to the school to give out Sneaks shirts to students.  Finally, later this month, the school will host a book talk / celebration of students who participated in the Summer Reading Program over the summer.

Patapsco High – Made morning announcements and asked English teachers to spread the word. Created a newsletter that included information about the public library’s summer reading program for high school students. Distributed summer reading bookmarks.

Sudbrook Magnet Middle  – Partners with the Pikesville branch each year. In May, branch librarian Paula Gallagher came to the school to promote the reading club and to recruit student volunteers. As the school’s sister library, throughout the year they donate promotional materials, book talk new titles, and encourage students to visit and volunteer at BCPL.

Wellwood Elementary – Hosted the 1st Annual Reading on the Lawn event.



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