Library summer programs promote reading and language development
Basic Service: Summer reading program. Promotes: Access to reading materials, independent reading, recreational reading, reading motivation, enjoyment of reading, interaction during reading, playing with language, reading practice, building vocabulary, reading fluency.
"What's the Big Idea?" emphasizes child-directed, hands-on exploration
A feature of the program as a whole is its devotion to the principles of scientific and mathematical investigation. The key is personal acts of discovery. “What’s the Big Idea?” emphasizes child-directed, hands-on exploration rather than adult-mediated instruction. Direction is provided in the form of open-ended, curiosity-provoking questions…
80% of Americans think that all children need access to a good, safe, and appealing library
Eighty percent of Americans think that all children need access to a good, safe, and appealing library. Of the top public priorities for public libraries, having enough current children’s books ranked second (82% of respondents) and providing reading hours and other programs for children ranked fifth (79% of respondents).
High satisfaction with children's material for Latinos who frequently visit the library
For Latinos who visited the library weekly or more, the second most common reason for their visits was to take their children (33.6%). They were more satisfied with children’s books (91.9% and movies (86.9%) in English than with the same materials in Spanish (76.5% and 66.9% respectively). Satisfaction was also high with programs for children (85.5%).
Four elements generate excitement about the public library
Four elements seemed to generate excitement about the public library: the ability to check out many titles at one time, the ability to choose what to read, the availability of family programs, and the fact that all of the above came at no cost.
Libraries supported events that tie to the community
As institutions, libraries supported events that tie to the larger cultural practices of coming together as part of a community
Library summer reading programs impact student reading levels, ability, and enjoyment
Library summer reading programs have a major impact on student reading levels, ability, and enjoyment. An evaluation of summer reading programs in Los Angeles found that participating children spent more time looking at and reading books than before they joined the program. During the summer, the percent of children reading 10-14 hours a week increased by nine percentage points and the proportion of children reading 15 or more hours a week rose by 11 percentage points. Teachers contacted as part of the Los Angeles study found that the difference between students who participated in summer library programs and those who did not was readily apparent the following fall. The most dramatic difference was that participants were much more enthusiastic about reading: 55% had a high enthusiasm for reading compared to less than 40% of non-participants. Teachers also reported that participating students who were reading above grade level before the summer were more likely to maintain this reading level than peers who did not participate in the summer reading program.
Parents reported that their children enjoyed the program
Parents, almost unanimously, reported that their children enjoyed the program, and afterwards continued to talk about the experience at home. Most parents felt the hands-on projects were the best part of the session; some also mentioned the effective link of books to activities, as well as the positive social aspects of the program.
Libraries' summer reading programs increase literacy levels among elementary school children
Public libraries increase literacy levels among elementary school children through summer reading programs, which are particularly effective at addressing the achievement gap. Summer reading programs increase young people’s interest in reading by combining silent reading with opportunities for children to read out loud, listen to stories, and take part in creative activities inspired by what they’ve read. These programs have also been very effective at drawing parents into students’ reading lives, a crucial element in developing strong reading habits.
States Ranking in the Top Half on Reading Scores, Ranked in the Top Half on Attendance at Children’s Programs
Of states ranking in the top half on reading scores, seven out of 10 (70 percent) ranked in the top half on attendance at children’s programs per capita… By contrast, seven out of 10 states (70 percent) in the bottom half on reading scores also rank in the bottom half on children’s program attendance…
Vermont Center for the Book has amassed an extensive, multifaceted bibliography
For each of the four topics, the Vermont Center for the Book has amassed an extensive, multifaceted bibliography of children’s picture books, a long list of related projects and activities, suggestions for independent discovery centers, and a selection of recommended resources and manipulatives.
“Kids love the programs, and librarians, parents, and early-childhood educators do too”
“Kids love the programs, and librarians, parents, and early-childhood educators do too,” said [Sally] Anderson. “’What’s the Big Idea?’ helps librarians expand on the things they already do, incorporating science and math into all kinds of ongoing library programs. And the opportunity to experiment and solve problems on their own is a phenomenal self-esteem builder for kids. The activities are fun, but this is also serious stuff, and the kids understand that. They’re not only playing; they’re discovering the rewards of intellectual satisfaction.”