Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Reading Overview

The 2014 Summer Reading Program (Fizz, Boom, Read!) has come to a close, after just under 6 weeks. We had a few setbacks - budget cuts led to us eliminating a few programs and weekly summer reading prizes, and we were closed for an entire week.  Even so, I think this summer was a great success!

First off, the thank yous. Fizz, Boom, Read (as well as Spark a Reaction and Literary Elements) was sponsored by the Lawrence Library, the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Because we have no budget for programs, all of the summer's activities were funded by the Friends of the Lawrence Library. The Tidepool Adaptations program from the New England Aquarium, the Mouse Trap Science program with Jungle Jim, and the visit from the Blue Star Planetarium were supported by grants by the Pepperell Cultural, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. This year, we were lucky enough to get Summer Reading prizes donated by Chipotle, the Topsfield Fair, the PawSox, Roll On America, and the Rob Compagna Guitar School in West Groton, MA. Thank you! We are extremely grateful.

Participation & Books Read
This year, we had tons of sign-ups for the program - possibly due in part to getting a free meal at Chipotle when you signed up, but I'd like to pretend it's because reading is so awesome.  102 kids signed up! We taped an outline of a beaker (excuse me - it's actually a flask) on the wall, and asked the kids to help us fill it up by earning stars.  One star was awarded for each one chapter book or five picture books read.  Here's the wall at the end of the summer:

According to my binder, this is 597 picture books and 172 chapter books! Way to go, everyone!!

SO MANY PROGRAMS. We started off with our annual Bubble Blast, which Miss Shannon has taken charge of for the last several years - it's always a good time.  For kids, we had weekly "Make It And Take It" crafts, which could be either made at the library or taken and completed at home, as well as weekly "Science Adventures," which included stories and science activities for kids from preschool to early elementary age.  We had an MIT astrophysicist bring his solar telescopes so that we could look at the surface of the sun.  Jungle Jim performed a Mouse Trap Science program, which taught us about simple machines while using balloons (and I got to be the mouse in the mouse trap!). The Blue Star Planetarium was here and gave us tours of the night sky, and the New England Aquarium brought their traveling tide pool. Rolling Video Games of NH joined us to play video games on the front lawn.

We also had arts and crafts: the DIY YA series (Do It Yourself, Young Adult) found us making book safes, duct tape wallets, galaxy t-shirts, mini book necklaces, and homemade lip balm. We also made tie-dye shirts at Miss Tina's annual Tie Dye Party, and had two major movie parties: one for Doctor Who, and one for Star Wars. (The instructions for and information about many of these programs were posted on this blog in the past few weeks).
Lucky shows off his tie-dye.
All told, we had 1013 people attend our children's programs and 216 attend our teen programs. Not too bad for less than 6 weeks!

I know I had a great time this summer, and I hope you all did, too.  Now: let's get started on Summer 2015!

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