Splash! Make waves this summer with the Ottawa Public Library TD Summer Reading Club

Well, it’s everyone’s favourite time of the year again...Summer! School’s out, warm weather is in and the TD Summer Reading Club (SRC) is on!  For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about here’s a short version: The SRC is short for Summer Reading Club and it’s the library’s way of getting you and your kids reading this summer. Sponsored by TD Canada, kids receive a free kit that includes a poster, activity book and stickers when they sign up at any branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) or Bookmobile stop across the city. What’s more, libraries from across Canada participate in this program and every year is a different theme. In case you hadn’t guessed it yet, the theme this year is Splash! Splouff!

Lots of time and care went in to making a fantastic kit that kids would want to hang on to and hang up (the poster that is). Every year the poster, stickers and booklet are illustrated by a well-known and talented Canadian illustrator. This year the artwork is courtesy of award-winning British Columbia artist Kim LaFave. You can see some of his beautiful illustrations in books such as Amos’ Sweater, Big Ben and Shin-Chi’s Canoe-this one won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustrations in 2009. You can check out some of his work here: The kit is just one of the reasons why we love the SRC. Another reason is that it helps combat summer reading loss. Never heard of it? Basically, it means that kids lose an average of one month of reading progress during the summer if they’re not reading over the holidays. Honestly. That’s one of the main reasons why we’re so passionate about the SRC.

They’re not into reading you say? Well, I say they just haven’t found the right book yet. Seriously. Books now come in all shapes and sizes, and cover a wide range of topics and interests. Whether they’re into sports, dance, history or fashion we’ve got it covered.

Not sure where to start? Here are just a couple of places where you can find a range of great booklists for your kids: Library and Archives Canada Toronto Public Library Ottawa Public Library (of course!) Going away this summer? That’s perfect. Just make sure to pick up the kit before you leave. There are crossword puzzles, trivia, dot-to-dots and even a place for them to record what they’ve read in the activity book. Oh yeah, don’t forget the stickers. Who doesn’t like stickers-right?

Not only do we at the OPL love the TD SRC but so too does the CNIB (holy acronyms!). As a matter of fact, the CNIB library decided to align their summer reading themes with TD’s in 2010. That means that children with print disabilities can now read some of the same books as their friends. Pretty cool, huh? As always, we’re also offering free and fantastic programs, many of which are based on our Splash theme. Think mermaids, Vikings, pirates, sea creatures and more.  Essentially, we’re working hard to ensure your kids have a great summer filled with awesome books and fun things to do. Speaking of fun things to do, OPL has once again partnered with some incredible outside organizations to provide you with a wide-range of programs across the city. Check us out and register online here.

Summer isn’t only for kids and tweens. It’s also about teens. If you know any teens who like to read and are looking to score some free stuff, have them check out our online teen summer reading club. They’ll be eligible for weekly draws just for posting reviews of their favourite books. Not only that, there are some great booklists on the site, just in case they’re not sure what to read next. They can check it out here.

And finally, if your kids should find themselves looking for more Splashy-goodness, have them hop on over to the Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) website. They’ve got a great site devoted to Splash! Here they’ll find games, activities, booklists, interactive stories and so much more. Check them out here. One more thing, don’t wait to register for programs. Program space is sometimes limited. That said, don’t worry if the program you want is full. Just call your branch to find out about waiting lists. Better yet, find out what other branches are doing and try somewhere new. Whatever you decide to do this summer, we hope you take the kids to the library and make a Splash! You won’t be sorry you did! Happy summer reading!

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