The South Carolina State Library supports summer reading programs to promote the joy of reading, connect communities, assist with summer learning loss, and to encourage lifelong library users.
Research has shown that summer learning loss is more pronounced in children from families and communities that have a lower socioeconomic status—and access to books is lacking in those same communities. Public library summer reading programs help level the playing field.
Goals of Summer Reading Programs
Participation in summer reading provides quality, community based programs throughout the summer for children and families. The goals of summer reading programs are to:
- Advance literacy and academic performance by engaging youth of all ages in reading and reading-related activities during the summer months.
- Involve parents and all family members in the library summer reading experience.
- Increase participation by all ages in public library summer reading programs.
- Foster a love of reading through public library programs and services.
- Increase successful reading experiences through librarian-supported, self-selected, voluntary reading.
- Improve access to library materials and activities, which will encourage youth to become lifelong library users.
- Provide tools and resources for the public libraries to implement summer reading programs by engaging in partnerships that will benefit the libraries and expand resources.
Contact the Youth Services Consultant for more information on available programs and materials for local libraries.
South Carolina is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). The CSLP is a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest possible cost for their public libraries. The participating systems and states develop a unified and high-quality promotional and programming product. Participants have access to the same artwork, incentives and publicity, in addition to an extensive manual of programming and promotional ideas. All fifty states participate and the Board of Directors is represented by members who have been voted in by the membership, including two from South Carolina. South Carolina has been a member for several years.
If you're looking for resources for library programming or have a question and want to know how other librarians have created successful programs, try these resources:
Summer Reading Grants
The State Library provides funds for one Youth/YA Services public library staff member to attend the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) annual meeting. There is a need to have a consistent South Carolina presence on the CSLP committees and this supports professional development for public library staff.
The CSLP awardee must agree to the following:
- Attend the CSLP meeting for two consecutive years.
- Serve in a leadership capacity of the Youth Services Section of SCLA.
- Serve on at least one CSLP committee, which is a two year term.
Grants for Summer Reading and Learning Program (SRLP) activities are available from LSTA funds provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the South Carolina State Library. An application for funding, if accepted, will result in a grant award providing reimbursement to the County for qualifying expenditures up to $1,000.