I survived! The first week of the Summer Reading Program at my four libraries wasn't too horrible. I was just really tired by the end of the week. I presented 17 programs with an attendance of 358. The programs were mostly preschool story times and school age events. I also had 1 teen event this week. My system uses the Collaborative Summer Library Program's theme. As you know, the children's theme this year is "Dream Big--Read!" and the teen theme is "Own the Night."
Everything went smoothly with preschool story time. I was overwhelmed at one library with 36 kids (ages 0-5) and 21 adults in 1 story time. That's 16 more than my biggest attendance last year. I'll be more prepared this week for the large attendance.
Day camps from the local schools bring groups to the library for the Summer Reading Program Events. Last year was the first time I'd dealt with such groups. I'm pleased to say that this year is off to a rousing start. When I have an hour with the kids, I try to read from a chapter book, discuss the topic (in a nonfiction sort of way), have a craft for the kids to do, and a game for them to play. When I only have 30 minutes, we do the reading, discussion, and game. I send them home with a coloring or drawing sheet. At three of my libraries, the damp camp groups are combined with the community. Next year, I plan to separate this groups. I think the day camp kids overwhelm the community kids. In separating the groups next year, I hope to see better attendance from the community.
I had fun with the teen event. It required very little planning and prep on my part because I found in on the California Library Association's Summer Reading Page. It was presented at their SRP workshop. The original program plan had 8 different activities. I had 3 teens show up, but they could only stay for an hour (play practice) so I modified and we did 5 of the 8 activities. The wild animal vaccination challenge required the use of dart guns. I'll never purchase them at Dollar Tree again. They were defective. The teens ended up just throwing the darts at the animals.
This year, I'm doing something familiar to me, but something that hasn't been done in my system for a long time. For each age group, I have set a small reading goal. When they meet their goal at the end of the program, they get a certificate and are entered in a grand prize drawing. For the 0-2 age, I'm trying out the Rubber Ducky Club that I heard about from Marge Loch-Wouters on her blog Tiny Tips for Library Fun. Kids also receive a small prize at the end of each program they attend.
This next week will be as busy as the last. I have 18 programs. Again, it's mostly preschool story times and school age events. I also have a teen program and a tween program this week.