Maple Ridge Coun. Ryan Svendsen, left, and Mayor Mike Morden hand out Summer Reading Club medals at Memorial Peace Park. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Readers receive medals in Maple Ridge

More than 100 medals given out to participants of the Maple Ridge Public Library Summer Reading Club

More than 100 readers big and small received medals for their hard work over the summer.

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Maple Ridge Public Library held a wrap-up event to celebrate the finale of Summer Reading Club 2022 – a public library program that takes place across the province every summer.

Children lined up to receive their medals, some even with their log books in hand – ready to show off all the reading they did.

City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden and Coun. Ryan Svendsen handed out the medals to a steady stream of children in Memorial Peace Park.

“The focus of Summer Reading Club is to encourage kids to keep reading all summer when they are out of school,” said community librarian Liza Morris.

Children, teens and adults can sign up for the reading club in June.

This year more than 1,200 participants signed up in Maple Ridge alone.

Participants are allowed to read whatever they would like, including books, graphic novels, magazines, or even audio books. Parents are also encouraged to read to their children.

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Then everytime they read they log the time in an online logbook on the Beanstack Reading Program app.

There are no hard guidelines on how many books participants have to read, explained library branch manager Shawna Kristin.

“We aim to have 15-20 minutes a day of reading is great for kids over the summer. Obviously more is fantastic,” she noted.

“But it is just the effort of having the books, getting the literacy skills that we are really encouraging and rewarding.”

During the summer there are monthly prizes for each age group. For children up to Grade 6 gift baskets included chalk art, bubbles, books, and gift cards. For those in Grades 7-12, gift baskets included water bottles, lights for their rooms, and books. Finally adults could win gift cards and books. In addition there was a healthy amount of public library swag including frisbees and beach balls.

System wide, said Morris, the library is giving away a Nintendo Switch. That draw has yet to take place.

Morris couldn’t help mention how excited the children were to pick up their medals.

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One girl arrived to pick up her medal wearing four other medals from previous years of participation in the club.

Another girl who was a volunteer on Tuesday, had participated in the Summer Reading Club throughout her entire childhood.

“You can tell the program is an important part of their childhood,” said Morris.

Kristin also noted how important this program is to the community.

“It’s so exciting for the community, the parents, the kids – everyone just gets involved.”

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