For kids, summer vacation means a break from school and homework – but it doesn’t have to mean a break from learning.
“Summer is when the public library eagerly steps into the educational gap with programs that encourage and incentivize reading and learning, so that kids of all ages stay engaged,” said Mandie Burns, Dayton Metro Library Youth Services Coordinator.
Dayton Metro Library launches its 2018 Summer Challenge, LIBRARIES ROCK, with a system-wide Kickoff Day on Thursday, May 17, at all DML locations. Summer Challenge continues through July 28.
“This will be an exciting summer,” said Burns. “We’re offering a new online registration and tracking option that makes it fun and convenient for kids to keep track of their Summer Challenge progress. They can earn points and badges online, as well as the prizes we award at each Branch Library, and caregivers can easily manage accounts for more than one child at a time.”
Paper registration and trackers are also available at all Dayton Metro Library locations starting on May 17.
Summer Challenge participants earn prizes at several levels along the way toward the 60-hour achievement, which earns readers in PreK through Grade 12 two tickets to the Dayton Philharmonic’s “PhilharMonster” Concert on October 21. Additional prizes awarded at each Branch Library include $50 gift cards, books and private Library Parties.
Time spent reading, as well as attending Library programs, counts toward reaching Summer Challenge goals. With the LIBRARIES ROCK theme, many programs this summer focus on music, sound, even geology. A concert series for kids features the Bright Moments Jazz Quintet, Grammy-nominated songwriter Zak Morgan, and singer/songwriter Mark Tillack. Teens are invited to an African Drum and Dance workshop, percussion improv and a career-focused session with professional DJs, among other activities.
Dayton Metro Library’s Summer Challenge doesn’t just keep kids busy. A three-year national research study conducted by Dominican University showed that that students who participated in public library summer reading programs improved their reading achievement and skills, were more motivated to read, returned to school ready to learn, and were more confident in participating in classroom reading activities.
“Librarians have known for a long time that summer reading programs benefit kids,” said Burns. “This study measured that effectiveness through testing as well as surveys of students, parents and educators. It’s clear that Dayton Metro Library’s Summer Challenge is not only fun, it can make a real, positive difference in the lives of the children and teens who participate.”
Dayton Metro Library offers a Summer Challenge for children in Preschool through Grade 6, and Grades 7 through 12. Babies and toddlers 36 months and younger can participate too, earning prizes for completing activities designed to develop early literacy and learning skills.