How to Run the Program
The 2023 TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC)
The TDSRC is delivered by library staff across Canada each summer. Libraries can run the Club in whichever way best serves their communities.
All participating libraries will receive free print materials to distribute for the 2023 Club, based on orders submitted in November 2022.
We’ll continue to provide an engaging summer website for kids to participate in the Club online. The TDSRC website goes live on June 12, 2023, and kids can continue to make online submissions and read e-books until September 4, 2023.
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 between June 12 and June 26, 2023. We call this nationwide registration period Get Your Summer Read On, and we’ll provide more information and ideas for activities and promotion by the end of March 2023 on our staff newsfeed.
Why run a summer reading program?
Studies show that kids experience learning loss over the summer months. This learning loss has been exacerbated by COVID-19 service disruptions, and education experts are now flagging this learning loss as a long-term issue that will persist after the pandemic is over., The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other authorities advise that investments in summer reading and learning programs are key to supporting kids as we recover from the pandemic. Summer reading programs are a proven tool to help bridge the summer gap between school years and to 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 2022 survey results indicate that participants read the same amount or more over the summer, enjoy reading more, and have been able to connect with other kids because of participating in the program.
In the spring, participating libraries will receive free print materials to distribute to kids, including notebooks, web access codes and stickers. To become a participating library or to report the late arrival of materials, please contact email@example.com.
Check out our promotion page for tips on how to promote the Club in your community.
Registration of participants and statistics
Kids of all ages can benefit from the Club. Please encourage all kids to join, as well as parents and caregivers of preschoolers and babies.
We’ve created a registration list template for staff to use to collect some key statistics that you’ll need to report on at the end of the summer.
Before the end of September, you must complete a short online survey to report statistics for your library’s program. Please see the submitting statistics page for information on the process.
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.
Below are ideas on how to run a successful Club in your library.
Encourage kids to record all of the items they read (or listen to) in their notebooks or draw pictures inspired by what they read. Kids can also visit the TDSRC kids’ site and enter their web access code to create an online notebook and track their reading online.
Goals and incentives
Most libraries give kids a sticker for each book read or listened to. Other libraries reward kids for time spent reading or offer incentives (in addition to the stickers) to encourage kids to read. Whichever method you choose for distributing stickers or other incentives, please remember that the Club aims to foster the joy of reading. Studies indicate that kids who enjoy reading for its own reward and set their own personalized reading goals are more likely to become lifelong readers.
For kids who are reading longer books, consider distributing a sticker when they report on chapters or parts of books, or when they achieve an individual reading goal that they have set for themselves.
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 (or are reading) with library staff. If kids feel that 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 that 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 as part of the TDSRC. 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. We’ve made an effort to include many passive programming options, which kids can participate in with minimal to no staff direction. For example, kids can pick up word searches and crossword puzzles and complete them in the library or at home at any time.
All of our activities support summer learning, are tied to specific learning competencies and often 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 TDSRC kids’ website
As in past years, kids will be able to register and participate online through the TDSRC website, which will launch on June 12, 2023. The website will allow kids to do the following:
- Create an online notebook—Kids can use the web access code that they received at the library to create their own online notebook. There is an option to generate a web access code for kids who don’t have the sticker. In their online notebook, kids can track their reading by adding the books that they read over the summer. There is also a special section in their notebook to record reading material other than books, such as games and recipes. Kids can personalize their notebook with a nickname and avatar, and the notebook will store any contributions that 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 e-books—We have free e-books for all ages and interests, in both English and French. Once kids set up their online notebook, they can access the e-books at any time over the summer—no waiting lists or restrictions!
- Vote in the Battle of the Books—This is an all-Canadian, eight-book tournament in which two books battle for top choice each week. All of the books are available as e-books, 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 the books that 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 are options to like a joke and to sort the jokes by most popular and trending.
- Read an original web comic—Cyndi Marko is working on an original web comic. Kids can read it and then participate in discussion questions with other kids. Julien Castanié is writing 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, designed by our 2023 artist Nahid Kazemi, range from simple to advanced, for parents and caregivers to print out for kids of all ages.
- Find the perfect book—Kids answer our book-finder questions to find the books best suited to them.
The TDSRC gratefully acknowledges Bibliovideo for hosting the TDSRC online programs.
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 of 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’ll report on the number of online notebook registrations per library in mid-summer and again after Labour Day. Online participation will count toward your library’s registrations.
Join our online community for ideas and inspiration
Want to connect with other libraries running the TDSRC? 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’re on Facebook.
StoryWalk® is an activity that places a children’s book, page by page, on laminated poster boards along a path or in a park. Kids and their families have the opportunity to enjoy reading a book while strolling through their community.
The StoryWalk® is free, but quantities are limited. In order to be eligible for a StoryWalk®, your library must be registered for the TDSRC. Returning libraries must also have completed the previous year’s Annual Survey of Program Statistics.
Our StoryWalk® kits are available in English, French and bilingual formats. Your library must sign a Letter of Agreement in which libraries agree to the licensing terms and conditions.
More information on ordering the 2023 StoryWalk® will be published on the staff newsfeed.
Don’t miss important updates about the TDSRC! Subscribe to the staff newsfeed to receive email notifications leading up to this summer’s Club.
 Caroline Alphonso, “School shutdowns have put children up to eight months behind in reading, research indicates,” The Globe and Mail, November 26, 2020, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-school-shutdowns-have-put-children-up-to-eight-months-behind-in/
 Jessica Wong, “Disrupted schooling, learning loss will have effects long after pandemic, say education experts,” CBC News, January 31, 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/news/pandemic-learning-gap-unesco-report-1.5888860
 Tracy Vaillancourt, Scott Davies and Janice Aurini, “Learning loss while out of school—is it now time to worry?,” Royal Society of Canada, April 28, 2021, https://rsc-src.ca/en/voices/learning-loss-while-out-school-%E2%80%94is-it-now-time-to-worry