Jaela Terry has read either 100 books or 300 hours this summer or maybe it’s both. She’s not quite sure.
But the 12-year-old sixth-grader at Midway Elementary School knows that reading over the summer is good for her. “My teacher told me that if you read a magazine – if you just read – your GPA will go up,’’ says Jaela, on a recent break from Brain Camp at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s downtown branch.
“She said that it will go up when you back to school, compared to those kids who don’t read.”
That is, of course, exactly the point of the Cincinnati Library’s summer’s reading program
, which officially ends Tuesday, July 31. Summer reading programs have been around for more than a century and are offered in more than 95 percent of public libraries, according to a 2010 article in School Library Journal
This year, more than 38,000 readers joined in Cincinnati’s “Reading Rocks” two-month program, up slightly from last year’s 37,790 participants, says Kate Lawrence, Adult Services, Programming and Exhibits coordinator at the Cincinnati Library.
The library encourages all age groups to sign up in the hope that children will model their parents’ behavior and to also remind families that even in our wired world reading can be a family activity.
This year, as in years’ past, kids made up the largest reading group at 17,082; there were 7,402 pre-schoolers who signed up; 7,115 adults registered and 6,378 teens registered.
The program, which is the largest system-wide initiative for the library each year, offers hundreds of prizes and raffles to top readers and includes extensive branch-level programming to encourage kids and families to take a trip to their library.
“We are really, really happy with the turnout this year,’’ Lawrence says. “We are so lucky to have community partners and sponsors
that allow us to office this fun and free activity for kids and families to take part in the summer.”
Gold Star Chili
, the Cincinnati Symphony
and the Pops Orchestras as well as the Cincinnati Reds
were sponsors, and as such offered dozens of prizes to top readers. Raffle winners will also get to attend Reds games.
In addition, summer readers and all Cincinnati Library cardholders can get half off Cincinnati Reds tickets in select seating areas to tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres by logging on to the Reds website
and entering the promo code "Redcar."
Jenny Circello hopes to win one of the raffles. But even without the prizes, her family would be involved in summer reading, she says. “We really have not changed our reading habits. My husband and I are both bibliophiles. But keeping track of what we read, it’s pretty cool to how much we are reading,’’ says the Maineville mom of Lucy, 4, and Jackson, 6.
And even though the program is over, Circello will keep up her twice weekly routine of taking Lucy and Jackson to their neighborhood branch.
“I’m hoping that my kids will be as addicted as we are to books and reading.”
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Chris Graves, assistant vice president of Digital and Social Media at the Powers Agency, is a proud library card holder and a summer reader since she was in kindergarten.