The Gibsons and Sechelt public libraries and School District 46 have joined forces to increase support for children and their families to improve literacy skills. Our first step in achieving this goal is to ensure that every student in the district has a library membership. Earlier this month, thanks to help from School District Superintendent Patrick Bocking and his staff, more than 900 library registration forms went home with students in grades 3 – 7 in schools across the district.
Later this month library staff will be visiting each elementary school, setting up a pop-up library to collect forms, issue library cards and provide information to students about the different services and activities offered at our libraries.
The visit will also provide an opportunity for library staff to start engaging and informing students about our Summer Reading Club programs. Summer Reading Club is a free provincial program offered at public libraries; the program promotes the joy of reading and helps better prepare kids for their return to school in September, ensuring that they don’t fall behind on their reading skills during the summer.
Continuing our promotion of childhood literacy, the public libraries will celebrate Library Month in October with a visit to the schools and a program designed for children in grades K to 2. Our goal is to reduce barriers of access, make the process of getting a library card even easier, and to excite children and their parents about the public library.
The advantage of learning about public libraries extends beyond elementary grades and stretches into secondary and post-secondary education, as tasks evolve from leisure reading and fact-finding to the expectation of academic research.
Using an online database, we can work with teachers to introduce the same types of tools students will access in university, and that their professors will expect them to use, as they work their way through the education system. Literacy is about reading, critical thinking, developing life skills and broadening our minds. We are excited and honoured to be partnering with School District 46, Superintendent Bocking and our team of exceptional teachers on the Coast.
For more information on this initiative or any other library program call or visit the Sechelt Library at 604-885-3260 or the Gibsons Library at 604-886-2130. Thank you to Margaret Hodgins, Sechelt Chief Librarian for contributing to this month’s article.