THE SEATTLE SUMMER READING CLUB IS OVER FOR 2014.
Please check back next spring to see what our 2015 summer schedule will be! Until then, Dayna and her kids are open to speaking at your non-profit or community group about how to support reading skills in young children — for free or for donation. Please contact Dayna at Readingclub (at) ross154 (dot) net.
******2014 READING CLUB SCHEDULE: JUNE – AUG 2014******
–> Mon, 6:30 pm @Jefferson Park Community Center, 3801 Beacon Ave S in Beacon Hill (cross street Beacon Ave and Spokane)
–> Thur, 10:30 am @Filipino Community Center, 5740 M.L. King Jr. Way South (one block south of MLK and Orcas)
WHAT WE DO
The SUMMER READING CLUB is a casual, drop-in space where kids and the grown ups who love them can read together. We meet at different times, days and locations throughout the summer and vary the times so that parents with different work schedules, or children’s nap schedules, can attend. Our goal is to create a reading community for young readers and the grown ups who love them, to inspire summer learning and make friends. The Summer Reading Club is best for young readers age 4-9 years, but any age can join. It is not a drop off; parents or caregivers please stay with your children. As an extra incentive, we have free stickers and magnets to give away!
No commitment, no pressure, no cost. Just show up and read!
HISTORY OF THE SEATTLE SUMMER READING CLUB
The Summer Reading Club was started in June of 2013 by a South Seattle mom of 2 kids at Orca K8. We met 6 times that summer, some families coming to just one club and others coming to more. Meeting times were both in the morning and evening, at both Beacon Hill and Columbia City libraries, and the great librarians there put out a selection of early reader books for us to enjoy.
The primary goal of the Summer Reading Club is to provide a space for friends — old and new — to gather and read together!! The secondary goal is to provide a place for parents to read with kids who may be struggling and will benefit from extra summer reading help. After a fabulous summer of reading fun in 2013, the founding mom has decided to take this fabulous show on the road for the summer of 2014. The plan is to connect with community centers and other organizations in South Seattle that serve families of all cultures, languages and income levels, and provide another way for parents to build community around reading with their children.
Removing the program from the library required her to figure out how to purchase her own books. She applied for and won a small grant through SESEC (Southeast Seattle Education Coalition) that allowed her to buy books, and she received donations from the community to round this out. She then connected with local community centers and organizations to ask about host space. She is starting off the summer of 2014 with three community centers on board: The Somali Community Center in Rainier Beach, the Filipino Community Center on MLK, and the Jefferson Park Community Center in Beacon Hill.
Why the Summer Reading Club?
This mom loves to read. She loves reading with her children. She loves what reading gives to young children, supporting their amazing imagination, confidence level, and creativity. She also is lucky enough to be able to spend time in her kids’ classrooms, working weekly and one-on-one with young readers who are struggling. After 2 years of volunteer classroom work, she noticed that something magical happens when young, emerging readers spend time reading with an adult they may not know very well. There’s a spark, a joy, and a sense of pride that is incredibly fun to witness. She saw young girls and boys, frustrated and resistant at the beginning of the year as they read to her, become confident and excited by the end of the year. This impacted her greatly.
In addition, she also realized that she wanted to continue supporting the kids she had been working with all year long, but didn’t know how to offer this up to the parents whom she didn’t know very well. Many of the parents of the kids she had worked with were not able to attend school functions, and some did not speak English, so she was not sure how to best communicate this offer. The idea of the Summer Reading Club came to her as a possible way to build community with these parents, as well as continue supporting their children.
What did we do?
During June, July and August of 2013, kids read together in groups or by themselves, and parents were there to help emerging readers. Parents read with both their own children and other children, and all adults got to see different ways of encouraging young readers. The kids kept track of the books they read on the Seattle Public Library’s Summer Reading program chart, and after 10 books the library gave the kids a free book. All kids were welcome, from all schools and all grades. Books were provided by the Children’s Librarian, and the kids could check them out later if they chose to. We even kept a “Reading Thermometer”, where kids wrote their names and number of books read that day! See the above picture (on top of the words “Seattle Summer Reading Club”) for a snapshot of the thermometer. By August, we saw over 45 kids reading a total of 300 books! We build community, kept our our reading skills, and encouraged each other. It was a great time!
Looking forward to Summer of 2014
This summer’s program will be different, but so very exciting! We hope that bringing books to the communities where parents already go with their children will help inspire even more South Seattle kids to read this summer. Let’s shrink that summer learning loss and keep our South Seattle kids reading! Want to help? Email readingclub (at) ross154 (dot) net.