Farewell Summer Reading Club 2016

This week's library column sends a fond farewell to the summer reading club.

By Emma Neufeld

Summer Reading Club 2016 has officially come to a close and what a successful summer it was. With 57 participants joining, it was a very busy two months. We covered topics such as the ocean, dinosaurs, the forest and the Olympics. The “Wild” theme was a huge hit. Everyone enjoyed making a variety of crafts throughout the season. Some crafts were making binoculars to spot birds, jellyfish that could hang from the ceiling and our own Olympic flag that we could proudly display. Everyone also enjoyed a number of games that we played with the favorite this year being Hot Potato.

Reading Club had some amazing accomplishments this year. The total number of combined hours read per participant was 10,83; that is 649,800 minutes and 3,898,8000 seconds. For every 10 hours someone read, they got to collect a prize. Our prizes ranged from a chocolate bar all the way to mini stick hockey sticks. The more points they collected, the bigger the prize they could earn. Each participant had their own “bank accounts” where they could collect and spend their points. It was a great way for kids to be informed and responsible for their reading accomplishments. Again, a big thank you goes out to all of the sponsors and individual donors; without them, the supplies and prizes would not have been as great as they were.

Friday, Aug. 26 is the second annual Ponoka Day in the Park celebration. The celebration starts at 1 p.m. at Centennial Park where there will be multiple free activities for children. Emma will be having Story Time from 1 to 3 p.m. where books that can be enjoyed by all ages will be read aloud. Activities and entertainment run until evening, please check the Town of Ponoka’s website for more information.

Reading aloud to your child is one of the great joys of being a parent and treasured memories of a child. Not only does it create a special time of bonding, it encourages a child to use their imagination while helping to establish a bedtime (not that you only need to read to them at bedtime). Once the child is older, it is important to encourage your child to read to you. Reading is a fundamental learning skill for all of the many challenges that face them ahead in school and life. Many parents struggle to motivate their children to read. Creating a comfortable and relaxed time each day to sit with your child and letting them read to you is important. This not only sets up a routine, it becomes a habit in your every day and often hectic life. Always keep books handy and available at home, in the car or even in a backpack you tote around with you. Asking questions to your child before, during and after reading encourages reading comprehension. Be a role model for your child by sharing your own joy of reading.

With the beginning of a new school year, it is the perfect time to start the practice of reading with your child for a set time every day. If you are not sure where to start or what to read, please drop in to the library and we can help you find a book that suits your needs (and yes, there really are books for that).