To try to get more local students involved in summer reading, a few of the local schools are working with us this year on some new promotional strategies:
- Principals are emphasizing to caregivers that student participation in the public library's summer reading program is strongly encouraged. A few local elementary schools sent home letters with this message, and they were signed by the principal. Several schools have planned rewards for students who bring their public library SRP logs back to school in the fall. And at least one local school is using their robo-calling service (typically used for delays and snow days) to remind all families to visit the public library. In return, we collect names and schools of all children who finish our program. We report these successful students' names to their schools in the fall.
- Reminders about the public library SRP will be handed out at open school library days this summer. A handful of elementary schools in our district are open to students one day each in June and July. One of the school librarians specifically asked me to create a simple flyer (pictured above) that she can give to attendees to remind them about our program. I included the addresses for the two nearest branch libraries, as many of these families haven't visited the public library before.
- School librarians have arranged to meet their students in our public library meeting room. This promotional strategy had a few hiccups in its initial occurence; we had booked the meeting room for the school librarians, but we didn't know ahead of time to arrange to have a staff member in the room with them to help with SRP sign-ups. After a bit of shuffling, our staff set up a makeshift SRP sign-up station in the meeting room to help the 75+ families that stopped in. The school librarians had advertised that students who met them at the public library and signed up for our SRP would get bonus incentives at their school.
Those are the three new strategies we're trying this summer with our local school district to encourage their students' participation in our SRP. I'm hoping both our sign-up and completion statistics see a jump because of these efforts. At any rate, if we can bring in even just a handful of new families to the library's SRP this summer, I'll count us successful.
Do you take any intentional steps to get more students involved in your summer reading program?