How to Run a Successful Program
The 2021 TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC)
It’s difficult to say when families will feel comfortable visiting their local libraries to receive the TDSRC print material. At this stage, our plan is to distribute the print materials for the 2021 Club and continue to provide an engaging summer website so kids can fully participate in the Club online.
We are working hard to make the 2021 edition of the TDSRC a success and will do our best to support libraries and their communities through this challenging time. We will continue to update this site with information and resources to help you plan for the summer.
We’ll also send important updates about the 2021 Club through the staff newsfeed. If you haven’t already subscribed for email notifications, you can do so at the bottom of the newsfeed page.
The start and end dates for your local program are flexible. We recommend running the Club for the full duration of the summer and starting with a registration kickoff in mid- to late-June.
Please note that the TD Summer Reading Club website goes live on June 15, 2021 and kids can continue to make online submissions and read ebooks until September 6, 2021.
Why run a summer reading program?
Studies show that school-age children lose some of their reading ability over the summer months if they do not continue to read while they are out of school. Summer reading programs are a proven tool to help bridge the gap between school years and maintain academic achievement.
The TDSRC inspires kids to explore the fun of reading their way—the key to building a lifelong love of reading. The benefits of the Club are clear: our latest surveys indicate that 87% of kids read more often or the same amount over the summer, and 96% of parents/caregivers agreed that their kid maintained or improved their reading skills over the summer.
In the spring, participating libraries will receive free print materials to distribute to kids, including notebooks, web access codes and stickers. If the materials don't arrive by mid-May, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before the summer, check out our Promotion page for tips on how to promote the Club in your community.
Registration of participants and statistics
Please encourage all kids to register for the Club. Even preschoolers and babies can benefit from joining and being read to over the summer.
We’ve created a registration list template for you to use in your library to collect the key statistics you will need to report on at the end of the summer.
Library contacts and regional administrators will receive an email containing a link to the statistics form at the end of the summer. More information on this will be provided in a blog post this summer. Please be prepared to provide the following information:
- Total number of registered children by age group (0–5, 6–8, 9–12, 13+), and how many have registered for the Club in a previous year
- Total number of programs (virtual and in-person) offered by your library, and the total attendance
- Total number of promotional visits (virtual and in-person) you made to schools, day camps, child centres and other locations, and the total attendance
- Testimonials from parents, caregivers or teachers indicating an increased love of reading
Running the program
The TDSRC is designed with flexibility in mind. While we provide a list of recommended reads for kids to explore, please encourage them to choose their own books and have fun reading whatever they want.
Libraries are free to run the Club in a way that best serves their community. When registering kids in person, please provide them with an age-appropriate notebook and a web access code sticker.
Below are some ideas to consider to run a successful Club in your library.
Encourage kids to record all the items they read (or listen to) in their notebooks. Kids can also visit the TDSRC Kids’ Site and enter their web access code to create a virtual notebook and track their reading online.
Goals and incentives
Most libraries give kids a sticker for each book read or listened to. Some libraries reward kids for a certain amount of time spent reading. Other libraries will offer small prizes or incentives (in addition to the stickers) to encourage kids to read. Whichever method you choose for distributing stickers or other incentives, please remember the Club aims to foster the joy of reading. Studies indicate that kids who enjoy reading for its own reward are more likely to become lifelong readers.
Reporting on reading
Research shows that children who engage in conversations with adults have better language and cognitive skills. Consider book reporting as a fun way to start a conversation with kids about what they’ve read. It’s a great opportunity to get to know kids in your library and learn about their reading interests.
If possible, allow kids to come to the library at any time to discuss the books they have read with library staff. If kids feel like the library is a positive environment where they can talk to other readers (other kids or library staff), it will encourage them to read even more.
We’ve provided you with sample book report questions you can use with kids to report on their reading.
Family-managed book reporting
You can encourage families to do at-home book reporting by sharing our written and illustrated book reports and providing the parent or caregiver with the full set of stickers for distribution.
We’ve come up with a list of activities for you to consider running at your library. For all activities, you can substitute materials and modify the instructions to suit your library and community. For your convenience, many of the activities have pre-made templates for you to print and we’ve made an effort to include many passive programming options.
We understand many libraries across Canada are increasing the impact of their summer programming by engaging kids in both summer reading and summer learning. We’ve responded by expanding our program content to better support libraries. All of our activities are tied to specific learning competencies and many include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) content. For more information and ideas on summer learning in libraries, see the Urban Libraries Council page on summer learning.
For more great ideas, follow us on Pinterest and check out these blogs:
The TD Summer Reading Club kids’ website
As in past years, kids will be able to register and participate online through the TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) website, which will launch on June 15, 2021. The website will allow kids to do the following:
- Create an online notebook—Kids can generate web access codes directly on our website. This allows them to create their own digital notebooks, which link to their respective library systems. Kids can track their reading by adding the books they read over the summer to their digital notebooks. There is also a special section in their notebooks to record reading material other than books, such as games and recipes. Kids can personalize their notebooks with a nickname and avatar, and the notebook will store any contributions kids make to other parts of our website, such as jokes and stories (see below). Each time a kid adds a book or submits content, they are rewarded with a digital badge that is stored in their notebook.
- Read ebooks—We have free ebooks for all ages and interests, and in both English and French. Once kids set up their online notebooks, they can access the ebooks at any time over the summer—no waiting lists or restrictions!
- Vote in the Battle of the Books—This is an 8-book tournament in which two books battle for top choice each week. All of the books are available as ebooks, so kids can read the books online and then vote for their favourite. At the end of the summer one book will be crowned as the summer’s champion.
- Review books—Kids can share what they think about books they have read for other kids to see.
- Participate in weekly trivia—Each week, we will have a new multiple choice trivia question for kids to answer. After selecting an answer, kids see an explanation and a prompt to explore the topic further.
- Write stories—Our silly stories ask kids to add their own words to a pre-written, hidden story. Once kids fill in the word prompts, the full story is revealed—and it’s usually silly! We also have story starters, where kids continue writing a story that we’ve started for them. Kids can read the story endings that other kids have submitted.
- Read and write jokes—Kids can write their own jokes and read the jokes submitted by other kids. There is an option to like a joke and sort the jokes by most popular and trending.
- Read an original web comic—Author and illustrator Mike Deas is working on an original web comic. Kids can read it and then participate in discussion questions with other kids. Sacha Lefebvre and Jean-Francois Laliberté have written an original web comic in French that kids can check out as well.
- View author/illustrator readings and workshops—Kids will be able to access online readings and workshops through the kids’ site.
- Print colouring sheets—Colouring sheets ranging from simple to advanced for parents to print out for kids of all ages.
- Find the perfect book—Kids answer our book-finder questions to find the book most suited for them.
We gratefully acknowledge Bibliovideo for hosting the TD Summer Reading Club’s online workshops.
Please invite your community to visit Bibliovideo to enjoy videos related to Canadian books for children all year round. We’ll be adding videos to the TDSRC Bibliovideo playlist over the summer. You can subscribe to the Bibliovideo newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest news. Your library can also add videos—see the submission guidelines and the tip sheet with links to how-to videos.
Website registration of participants and statistics
We will report on the number of online notebook registrations per library in mid-July, mid-August and after labour day. Online participation will count towards your library’s registrations.
Join our online community for ideas and inspiration
Want to connect with other libraries to find out how they are adapting their program to respond to COVID-19? Join our Facebook group “TD Summer Reading Club community_La communauté du Club de lecture d’été TD.” This is a members-only supportive platform where you can share tips, program successes and best practices, as well as ask questions within our community. To join, click on the group name above and choose “Join Group” once you are on Facebook.