Phoebe Trent

Library’s summer reader program gains serious support

Friends of the Library donate $10,000 toward GVPL initiative

Last summer a Grade 5 student picked up the first book in the Harry Potter series. That boy, a reluctant reader but a participant just the same in the Greater Victoria Public Library’s Summer Reading Club, worked through the novel word by word and page by page.

It took him the entire summer to finish, but he read every day. His reward for completing the program was a new book to take home.

Amongst the others on the shelf he spotted the second book in the series and that was his prize.

It’s stories like this one that inspire the GVPL to continue to offer the program, turning reluctant readers into those that continue to turn pages while fighting the summer slump – the regression in reading skills that can occur when a child doesn’t read over the summer holiday.

To help get more children involved, GVPL’s Friends of the Library volunteer group strengthened the Summer Reading Club with a $10,000 donation.

“We see how important it is for kids to keep learning and reading throughout the summer. We’re glad to be contributing to their education in a fun, engaging way,” Friends president Irwin Henderson said in a release.

Jessica Woollard, GVPL’s communications officer, noted the program is as big as it is because of their support. “It’s amazing,” she said, adding the program has come a long way in terms of offering prizes for participants.

The funds will go towards purchasing weekly reading incentives for participants and toward other summer programs such as story time, puppet shows, themed programs and science and health- related activities.

“I was at one of the branches today watching the kids come in and they were so excited,” Woollard said.

At their annual general meeting last month, the Friends of the Library committed $20,000 to support the redesign of GVPL’s website, which will launch next year.

“The volunteers have given hundreds of hours to fundraising for the library, and the positive impact of their generosity is felt every day,” said Kevin Murdoch, GVPL board chair, in the same release. “Thousands of children will enjoy learning this summer thanks to their support, and the community at large will welcome a new and improved website, the library’s ‘virtual branch,’ to help them explore GVPL’s collections and resources to keep learning and growing.”

Since registration began on June 23 for the Summer Reading Club, more than 3,000 children have registered across the region. The program is offered at all 11 branches, included the three West Shore locations.

While the Summer Reading Club is open to children 12 and under, adults and teens can get in on the fun with their own summer challenge, offered on GVPL’s website through an online contest. Woollard noted the popularity of program has already surprised staff.

“We came back after the weekend (the contest opened) and we had dozens of submissions,” she said.

For more information on the contest go to

Just Posted

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

B.C. getting less bang for its buck

B.C.’s CPI topped 2.7 per cent in April 2019, compared to two per cent for all of Canada

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read