Monday June 27, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Children and families can make reading a fun part of summer by participating in the BC Summer Reading Club (BC SRC), a free literacy program available at public libraries and online throughout B.C.
In May 2022, the BC Government invested $8 million in COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Funding for libraries, with $100,000 going to the BC Library Association to support increased accessibility and inclusion for BC Summer Reading Club in future years.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs provides $65,000 annually to support the BC Summer Reading Club.
Bringing stories to life:
“Reading together brings stories to life and strengthens ties between families, communities and local libraries,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings.
“Encouraging kids to read during the summer while having fun builds the confidence and motivation to keep learning. This program develops the literacy skills that will enrich children’s lives and help them succeed.”
Today upon querying the kids attending the livestreamed press conference, Sharma ended up promoting a couple of currently popular books, in response to asking kids about their favourite reads.
What is your children’s favourite reading this summer? Your comment can be added to this article.
Across 200 communities:
In 2021, 63,758 children registered in the BC Summer Reading Club in more than 200 communities with 209,610 reading entries logged online, said Sharma today in a news conference out of Vancouver.
The program has been running for 30 years. In July 2018, Premier John Horgan and then Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced the annual summer reading club at the new Victoria downtown library in James Bay.
Libraries welcome the participation of children of all reading abilities and offer virtual and in-person Summer Reading Club activities with each library developing its own programs based on community needs. Families can register readers aged five to 14 and find out about activities through the program’s website or by visiting their local library.
A summer family tradition:
The BC Summer Reading Club encourages kids to read daily and track their progress. From listening to a story to reading a graphic novel, all forms of reading count – and in any language. Participants can enter contests to win prizes and earn digital badges. Many libraries also award a medal to those who reach their reading milestones.
“For more than 30 years, the BC Summer Reading Club has worked with local public libraries to bring an engaging, interactive and inclusive literacy program to children and their families throughout the province,” said Rina Hadziev, executive director, British Columbia Library Association.
“This program has become a tradition and a summer highlight for many families, and we’re always thrilled to hear the wonderful ways it meaningfully impacts them.”
Libraries in BC:
There are 71 public libraries in BC, 247 service locations and six library federations, serving 99% of BC’s population.
During the pandemic, libraries proved to be a helpful resource and a refuge for some members of communities.
On Vancouver Island there are two library boards: Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) and Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) for communities outside of the Greater Victoria core area.
The Sooke library is within the VIRL system. The official grand opening of the new Sooke Library was held June 11, 2022.
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Mary P Brooke is the editor of Island Social Trends, a publication that has been following news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island since 2008 (first as MapleLine Magazine, then Sooke Voice News, then West Shore Voice News, before launching as a fully online news portal in mid-2020).
Through Brookeline Publishing House Inc she has published various books for local Vancouver Island authors. This decade, she’s working on authoring some books of her own, stay tuned!
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Canadian School Library Day during COVID – a day in the learning commons (October 26, 2020)