Summer is drawing to a close. Already, I’ve seen a few red leaves on the trees. Here at the library, we’ve had a very busy summer with our STREAM Reading program. This year, 2761 kids and teens participated – that’s up from 2667 last year. And for those who love numbers, just a little aside—in 2009 (only 5 years ago), we had 2252 signed up. That’s a 22% increase! So, yes, if you walked into your local library this summer and found it busy, there’s a reason why. We had over 700 kids and teens participating in our Kentville branch alone! You might have seen little fishes taped to walls, or stones outside in a pathway: these all represented the readers in our libraries.
We changed our program this summer to incorporate more learning activities, and it has been met with positive feedback from many of you. We offered programs to play math games, did science experiments, created collages and glitter pictures, made crafts with old t-shirts, danced with our preschoolers, saw some reptiles, watched chemical reactions, raced toothbrush robots, created movies with LEGO, read lots of stories, and listened to great music. Many of our programs this summer were made possible because we received the CFUW Library Award! This award allowed us to offer great programs all over the valley.
Our partners made the Summer STREAM even better. Upper Clements Parks has been a long-time partner for our summer program, offering a FREE Fast Pass for those who complete the program. Many of our families take advantage of this and visit the park each year. This partnership has been invaluable to the program and we are truly thankful to Upper Clements Parks for this great opportunity. Part of our partnership includes Word in the Park, two days near the end of the program when we have activities at the park. This year we had a StoryWalk challenge and gave away free books, and Clifford the big Red Dog came for a visit. This year we also added two Library Days at the Zoo in partnership with Oaklawn Farm Zoo. Once in July and once in August, everyone 18 and under got in free by showing their library card. We also did activities during the day and took our bookmobile out to the zoo. Thank you, thank you, thank you to our partners!
Another activity that we loved was Finny the Fish. We asked you to print, color, and photograph our little fish. Finny went all over the world this summer! You can see Finny’s travels here. As a bonus, everyone that sent a picture was entered to win a One-year Family Pass to Nova Scotia Museums.
We had lots of fun this summer, and we hope you did too. We’ll do it all again next year, and we look forward to playing and learning with you in Summer 2015. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the program, so tell us in the comments below!
--Angela J. Reynolds, Head of Youth Services