Children’s librarian Tina Dolcetti is excited to launch the TD Summer Reading Program this year at the Moose Jaw Public Library — and to welcome library-goers back into the stacks and to a slew of outdoor activities coming up.
Things will look very familiar this year, with the summer reading program running challenges for youth, teens and adults to hit the books over the next few months.
Dolcetti said that the reading program will be offering a prize to every participant who finishes their logbook, as well as drawing for additional monthly prizes throughout the summer.
The MJPL has also added some new updates to the partnered ReaderZone app, which launched last year as a tech-savvy way for people to take part in the reading program.
ReaderZone is a free mobile app where participants can keep track of their progress, log their completed book titles and take part in new challenges for this year’s program.
“We’ve developed more potential with the app, so people have the ability to complete little prize activities in the app,” said Dolcetti. “They can do challenges instead of just reading, like going to the park for a story trail or other fun things, for the whole family.”
Response to the app during last year’s program was good, said Dolcetti, and the MJPL is hoping to see even more users this year. Those interested in using ReaderZone can download the app and then contact the MJPL for an activation code for the reading challenge.
The summer reading program will be launching on June 15 for youth and teens, with the adult program starting in July.
Reading logbooks and activity kits are already available for pickup anytime at the MJPL, and the ReaderZone app is open to registration. Program participants are welcome to use either a paper form or the app to take part this year.
TD has also provided accessible entry logs and book titles for children, including resources in large print, dyslexia fonts, braille and audio formats that can be downloaded online.
“Sometimes people think [the program] isn’t going to be fun for their child if they can’t read, but we are willing to work with them to make it happen,” said Dolcetti. “It's there, it's fun and it's accessible.”
With the launch of the summer reading program, Dolcetti said that the MJPL is also getting ready to have more children’s programs in the coming months, as usual — including take-home craft kits, outdoor literacy activities and story trails.
All of the MJPL’s activities feature a component that builds literacy skills, which Dolcetti said is extremely important for kids to flex over the summer.
“We’re trying to encourage kids to keep reading in the summertime,” said Dolcetti. “Some children have not been able to keep up with their literacy levels due to setbacks from the pandemic, so this is our attempt to fight that.”
The MJPL is also able to welcome people into the building to browse the stacks, which now include the Fountas and Pinnell literacy collection of readers used in classrooms to determine literacy levels.