As we approach the dog days of summer with scorching heat in northern Texas, the data for The BIG Summer Read @Pike is soaring along with the temperatures. Participation in the summer reading incentive program has been quite successful thus far. There have been 100 students and faculty members who have signed the pledge via the Google form and over 100 books entered by both students and faculty.
As the summer reading incentive and promotion continues here are a few of my observations.
- Participants include both faculty and students. Math teachers seem to be leading the faculty in the event. This is definitely a trend I need to focus on since math can be the subject area most challenging when it comes to library programming.
- The book entries into the Google form are both fiction and nonfiction. An interesting observation that I noted is our eBook collection is not being utilized as extensively as they were during the school year. One factor might include that our students do not have access to school issued devices during the summer.
- Students and parents are taking full advantage of contacting me either through email or Facebook. I have noted that each question answered has generated participation. If there was no open communication would the participants become frustrated and quit? I am learning that simple guidance and reinforcement creates interest and participation.
- Posting updates on our social media generates interest through positive comments, questions, and likes. It also seems to motivate others to add books. Another observation on my part is to encourage more school-wide social media communication for the entire school program next year. There seems to be power in social media.
- The process has been simple but successful. I recently read a post about successful programming that included to start with simple but persuasive projects. I have been able to stay connected with my students and faculty and keep an interest in reading for pleasure during the summer months through promotion on the front end, Google applications, social media, and personal communication. It actually has taken little time away from my much appreciated vacation.
- As I see students out during the summer I have been greeted with tales of titles they are reading, introduced to their parents, and noticed their entries in the program shortly after the encounter. The old saying of out of sight, out of mind comes to my thoughts with this observation.
- Plans for a seamless transition from summer reading to our school-wide reading challenge during the school year needs to begin. Once our faculty has been established with new hires, I will gather a new reading incentive committee. I will take full advantage of inviting the math teachers who were so gracious to participate in the summer program. They just might be excellent Library Advisory Committee members.