Young Toronto bookworms will have some help keeping up on their reading this summer.
The Toronto Public Library
's TD Summer Reading Club
is designed to keep kids reading throughout the summer the program combines events, incentives and an interactive website.
"We know from the research that if kids don't keep reading there's a learning loss that happens over the summer," says Lisa Heggum, the children and youth advocate a the Toronto Public Library. "Kids go back to school in September not in the same place they were in June. [The reading club] keeps them active, keeps their minds working. But the key is that it's fun for kids."
In order to make reading fun, every kid who registers is rewarded with a poster (by award-winning illustrator Dušan Petricic
) and an activity book in which they can track their reading progress. Throughout the summer participants can also play games and connect with other readers on the interactive website, as well as attend number of events—from puppets shows to storytelling—at library branches across the GTA.
"And new this year," says Heggum, "we've added a secret code on the stickers and when they visit the website that code unlocks secret content. It's all fun and book-related."
And while TD is actively involved in promoting the program, now in its 17th year, they defer to the libraries when it comes to administrating it.
"We maintain a hands off approach." says Alan Convery, national community manager with TD, "We're bankers; they're the reading and literacy experts."
Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Alan Convery, National Community Manager, TD & Lisa Heggum, Children and Youth Advocate, Toronto Public Library