Winter Reading Program

Here’s the final grand finale to our Jamuary theme, but this particular event will be going on until the middle of April.  But let me back up a bit and explain what brought us to do this.

After reading this by the wonderful Angie Manfredi of Fat Girl Reading, I was completely inspired to give it a go.  Seriously.  I read the post and within a minute had emailed my team saying “take a look at this – we’ll chat tomorrow about its feasibility for us.”  The next day when we were all together we voted unanimously to give it a try.

I totally used Brittany’s idea from her Great Wall of Puns display this month (These Books Rock), and named this year’s theme Reading Rocks.  Here’s the flyer I made the next day to start advertising it:

And in case anyone ever has a need for a record with the library logo on it – here! Please use (click on it for a larger image to save):

Here are the game sheets that I made with Brittany’s help (and a massive dose of help from Fat Girl Reading).  This one is for the younger kids (again, click on it if you’d like a large file to save for your own use):

A black and white reading bingo sheet for kids age 2-7 to encourage reading during the winter months.

And this one is for the older children:

Our black and white reading bingo sheet. It keeps the musical theme going.

On a side note: I left our library’s name off of the sheet so that y’all can use it.  But before we print off a set to start handing out I will be sure to add our name.  It’s been a big focus of mine to really brand our library and get our name out there more consistently.

Our prizes will be even simpler than the inspirations were.  We really don’t have anything free to give (like skating passes), so I found some sparkly music note stickers, and two sets of book marks (one with Pete the Cat and the other one is edgier for older kids), and a certificate of completion that came with another bookmark (all music-themed).  Here’s our sign-up sheet – click the image for a pdf if you’d like to use it:

A simple Excel spreadsheet that helps us track kids and their progress in our Winter Reading Program.

Brittany made an incredibly fun “Rock and Read Hall of Fame Inductees” sign for where we’ll be putting children’s names on music notes for each note box they fill in. When they fill in all of the boxes with the notes in them, then they’ll get to put their name on a platinum record on our wall.

And that’s it!

I’m very excited to give this a go, and would love to see it become a tradition at our library.  I truly hope that this turns out better than the 50 Books in 50 Days Challenge, and I’m rather optimistic that it will.  After all, never underestimate the power of simple prizes (which are likely a bigger draw than making a paper chain for display).  I’ll be sure to update on how it went!

Update:  I wanted to post that in the first week of registration we’ve had almost 40 children sign up!  My goal for this first year was 20, so I’m delighted.  However, I’ll be curious to see how many children keep up and complete this.  Again, I’ll be sure to update here.

Updated-update: IT FLOOOOOOOOPPED. Like a big-ole belly flop! Two children completed it. You could also see the program die as kids (and parents) let us know in many ways that they were unimpressed with the scale of the prizes (stickers and bookmarks, etc). I will be writing about how we majorly changed it up soon, which I’ll be sure to link to from here once I do. But for now, know that we really took a lot of what was written in this ALSC Blog post to heart.