Liza Morris is a community librarian at the Maple Ridge library. (Special to The News)

Liza Morris is a community librarian at the Maple Ridge library. (Special to The News)

ON THE PAGE: COVID changes look of summer reading club

Maple Ridge librarian offer some tips on how to stay connected and still have fun reading

By Liza Morris/Special to The News

The goal of B.C. Summer Reading Club (SRC) is to share the love of reading.

Promoted by public libraries across British Columbia, Summer Reading Club is a free literacy program designed to engage children with libraries and reading throughout the summer in a way that is fun, educational, inclusive and community-oriented.

For school age children, Summer Reading Club has the added benefit of counteracting the “summer slide,” which is the loss of literacy skills during the summer months.

Research shows that following summer break, students – on average – retain around 70 per cent of what they learned the previous year in language arts.

During the extended COVID-19 shutdown, experts believe retention could be much less – especially for children and families experiencing additional challenges, whether learning, economic, technological or health related.

The theme of this year’s B.C. Summer Reading Club is Explore our Universe!

Vancouver-based artist Bambi Edlund created this year’s provincial reading record, inspired by the animals and starry night skies from her childhood growing up in rural B.C.

For an online copy of the reading record, go to www.fvrl.ca to sign up.

On the special SRC section of our website, you can update your reading record, watch for weekly online contests and prizes, find fun activities for all ages and view our amazing special events. Check out online FVRL SRC performances by Norden the Magician, Puppets with Elspeth, Panagaea Arts, and Music with Marnie.

And remember, at Fraser Valley Regional Library, we take Summer Reading Club one step further with a reading club for every age, including Read to Me, Teen and Adult Summer Reading Clubs. Sign up the whole family and get started by reading 15 minutes or more every day.

RECENT COLUMN: Library doors may be closed by Maple Ridge librarians still available to help

For safety this summer, we are encouraging everyone to access the online or downloadable versions of the reading records on our website.

However, if you want a paper copy, they are still available. Stop by any FVRL location during FVRL Express contactless holds pick up hours, Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have print copies of the reading records for all ages, as well as weekly reading stickers and a special bookmark for elementary school-age children.

Summer Reading Club is definitely a bit different from usual this year, but there are still lots of ways to connect with the library for interesting things to read, listen to or watch.

Access FVRL downloadable or streaming digital resources 24/7 on our website or place a hold for physical items through our new FVRL Express contactless holds pick up service.

Check out FVRL’s newly launched ReadRadio podcast as we celebrate Summer Reading Club 2020 with a special playlist just for kids and teens.

Join us all summer long for great reading picks by library staff.

Follow ReadRadio on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher or TuneIn. Or watch our wonderful virtual Storytimes and Babytimes on FVRL YouTube or FVRL Facebook Video.

You can also call any of our libraries, Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for help placing holds, accessing online resources, answering a reference question or getting more information about Summer Reading Club.

This summer may not be precisely what we are used to, but there are still many ways to have fun – connect with your library and share a love of reading. Make Summer Reading Club a special part of this summer for your whole family.

For more information about Fraser Valley Regional Library services, including Summer Reading Club and FVRL Express, check out our website at www.fvrl.bc.ca or phone your local library.

– Liza Morris is a community librarian at Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Maple Ridge branch

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