The national Summer Reading Club has kicked off, with Australian children expected to read half a million books in December and January, helping to stop the ‘summer slide’.
The club, led by State Library of Queensland, is a free program for children pre-school age to 17 and is available in over 1000 public libraries across the country and online.
The ‘summer slide’ is a documented phenomenon describing the loss of academic gains over the school holidays.
The Summer Reading Club encourages kids to engage with fun and free activities at their local library – for pure pleasure – but also to stay ahead academically.
Over 43,000 children registered with the Summer Reading Club in 2017, reading a total of over 360,000 books over summer, and organisers are hoping participants will crack half a million books in 2018. Online, participants can blog their book raves and artwork, win great prizes, and lots more.
Club members can also meet 21 new Australian authors and illustrators online, read their helpful creative hints and tips and preview exclusives of their up and coming work.
The 2018 theme, Curious Creatures, explores real creatures to the imagined, actual to mythological, microscopic to megafauna, and Australia’s marvellous marsupials.
The Summer Reading Club is delivered in partnership with the Australian Library and Information Association, the Australian Public Library Alliance and public libraries across Australia, including Queensland’s Indigenous Knowledge Centres.
“The Summer Reading Club allows children to rediscover the pleasure of reading and find out what their local library has to offer over the holidays,” State Librarian and CEO, Vicki McDonald, said
“Regular reading benefits children of all ages but most importantly it should be fun – and that’s what the Summer Reading Club is all about,” she said.
According to experts, reading just four to six books over the summer is enough to keep young minds engaged and minimise academic decline.
“For Queensland participants, the program complements State Library’s early literacy initiative First 5 Forever, which promotes a family’s role in developing a love of reading from birth to five years - and is also delivered through public libraries,” McDonald said.