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Research Proves Value of Summer Reading Programs

Posted by on Friday, June 29, 2012 in Events and Promotions

WLA recently sent this op-ed by Rhonda Puntney Gould to dozens of newspapers around the state. Feel free to use the information here or in this related article to promote your summer reading program throughout this summer.

Public libraries all across Wisconsin have been kicking off summer reading programs throughout the month of June.  Almost 400 libraries in the state are participating in the 2012 “Dream Big READ” summer reading program theme and sponsoring programs for kids of all ages.  Through these programs, participants will have the opportunity to access the resources at Wisconsin’s public libraries to support their summer reading.  Young people can receive reading lists and participate in programs and activities at their local libraries and at the end of the program, participants receive formal recognition for their reading achievement.

According to the Department of Public Instruction’s Public Library Development 2010 statistics, 215,770 kids participated in summer reading programs at local public libraries and program attendance numbered 488,265.  

A study published in 2010 by Dominican University concluded that children who participated in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year.  Students who participated in public library summer reading programs also demonstrated higher reading achievement than those students who did not participate.  

In recent years the American Library Association has endorsed resolutions supporting summer reading and out of school time programming, urging community stakeholders to adequately fund and staff libraries to ensure that these types of programs are allowed to thrive locally.  

We all know that reading is a critical piece of the educational success puzzle.  Summer reading programs in Wisconsin’s public libraries provide unrivaled support for a variety of reading initiative components through educational and recreational reading resources, quality programming and summer fun to ALL of our children.

--Rhonda Puntney Gould is the immediate past president of the Wisconsin Library Association and the 2011-12 president of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a grassroots consortium providing quality summer reading program resources to public libraries in all 50 states.

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