Library unveils new summer reading program
Joy and engagement in reading
Your Wauwatosa Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is popular. In 2017, 1,345 children returned 3,545 reading logs over 3 months. Also popular are the rewards, like coupons to area attractions and businesses, that children receive upon returning their reading logs.
Unfortunately, this reward system is not beneficial to reading. The joy and engagement in reading comes from internal purposes, such as satisfying curiosity. Providing children with rewards has been found to negatively affect reading amount and comprehension.
This summer we are unveiling a new literacy program with opportunities for every kind of reader. The Children’s Librarians have suggested goals to engage children in the library and to help meet their literacy needs. More importantly, children will decide and set their own personal literacy goal. Participating children will work independently to reach their own goal and collaboratively to achieve a number of larger goals to earn new items for the library, donated by the Library Foundation, such as Ozobots, Sensory Storytime items, and a STEM maker station, to name a few. Full details will be available in early summer at the library.
We understand that families enjoy and look forward to many of the coupons we distribute and we will hold a separate program, not attached to children’s literacy goals, for children to obtain these incentives. Registration will be the same as in past years. Beginning June 1, children may pick up their reading logs, set their goals for the month, and turn their logs in at the end of the month or earlier if they have achieved their goal. The summer program ends August 31. However, reading never ends, so a child may choose to continue through May 31, just in time for June 1, 2019.