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B.C.’s summer reading club helps children continue to work on literacy skills

Program available at public libraries and online
Reading to a child image captured by Jill Hayward.

Children and families can make reading fun this summer by participating in the BC Summer Reading Club, a free literacy program available at public libraries and online throughout the province.

For more than 30 years, the BC SRC has become a traditional highlight for many families, allowing children to continue working on their literacy skills over their summer vacation, according to a news release from BC Gov News.

Through their area libraries, families can participate in weekly activities, events and contests starting July 4 based on this year’s theme, ‘All Together Now’, featuring artwork by illustrator and video game artist Elaine Chen of Vancouver.

Libraries welcome the participation of children of all reading abilities and offer virtual and in-person summer reading club activities, with each library developing its own programs based on community needs. Families can register readers aged five to 14 and find out about activities through the program’s website or by visiting their local library.

In May 2022, the province invested $8 million in COVID-19 relief and recovery funding for libraries, with $100,000 going to the BC Library Association to support increased accessibility and inclusion for BC SRC in future years.

In 2021, 63,758 children registered in the BC SRC in more than 200 communities, with 209,610 reading entries logged online, the news release said. There are 71 public libraries in B.C., 247 service locations and six library federations, serving 99 per cent of B.C.’s population.

Co-ordinated by the British Columbia Library Association and public libraries, the BC SRC is supported by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and CUPE BC.

“Reading together brings stories to life and strengthens ties between families, communities and local libraries,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “Encouraging kids to read during the summer while having fun builds the confidence and motivation to keep learning. This program develops the literacy skills that will enrich children’s lives and help them succeed.”

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