Josh Gilbert-Bernard helps library manager Adrienne Wass make slime at the Slime Science Fun program.

Summer reading club at the library

Young readers are having a great time experimenting at the library

The length of your arm, from your wrist to your elbow, is the same size as your foot.

That’s one of the strange, but true, facts kids learned during the Slimy Science Fun program at the Sooke library branch last Wednesday (Aug. 8).

More than a dozen children sat in a circle in the youth area, intently watching and listening as Adrienne Wass, library manager of the Sooke and Port Renfrew branches, lead the group though fascinating science experiments.

The kids, aged six to nine, learned how to make fake blood, slime, and fake hairy moles.

This is just some of the fun going on at the Vancouver Island Regional Library this summer, as part of the Strange… But True? summer reading club.

The province-wide program, sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association, aims to encourage elementary school-aged children to continue reading throughout the summer.

“They keep their reading skills up in the summertime so that when they return to school in the fall, they’re not out of practice,” Wass said. “In fact, a lot of them have improved their reading skills (by September), but it isn’t a chore because they’re motivated to read.”

Children fill out a reading log and earn stickers for each panel they complete. They are also entered into weekly prize draws. At the end of the summer, children earn medals for completing their booklet.

“It’s all about keeping the kids motivated, having fun, and reading,” Wass said.

The Sooke library currently has about 180 kids registered in the program, the highest amount of participants they’ve ever had, according to Wass.

In the past five years, the amount of children joining the reading club has increased exponentially, she said.

“It’s just been growing year after year. As Sooke’s population grows, we’ve seen a real increase in kids programming and participation.”

Last year’s numbers ranged from 120 to 130 children, Wass noted.

This year’s theme of Strange… But True? allows for plenty of fun.

“It’s great because it gives us a lot of room to play, like science, or science magic, or dealing with fantastical creatures,” Wass said.

While kids can still sign-up for the reading club and continue reading to fill-up their booklets, a wrap-up party is planned for today (Aug. 15).

The Summer Reading Club Wrap-up Party and Extreme Science Show includes cake, medals for those who’ve already filled their reading logs, and prize draws.

Students from the University of Victoria’s Science Venture Big Kids will be putting on a free show of chemical reactions, electrifying demos, and bubbling fun.

Registration is required for the event, which runs from 2 to 3 p.m. outside of the Sooke branch library, 2065 Anna Marie Road.

To register, call 250-642-3022 by Wednesday morning.

For more information about the summer reading club, see www.kidssrc.ca.