Youth Services Librarian Jaala Beauchamp was recently chosen to lead state-wide discussions on a Summer Reading Club program which is fast-growing in popularity in the region.
The Bundaberg Regional Council employee is a huge advocate for the program, which explores new and exciting ways to keep children reading, and discussed the success of the club in Bundaberg at an online meeting of the Young People's Libraries Group.
Jaala was chosen to lead the meeting’s conversations by the YPLG due to her outstanding enthusiasm as well as her willingness to share creative ideas with librarians across the state.
According to Jaala, one of the many reasons why she loved the Summer Reading Club was because it encouraged children to continue reading throughout the holiday period, with challenges and games featured to promote fun while learning.
“The Summer Reading Club is an initiative from the Queensland State Library which was introduced because they recognised a downward slide in learning whenever children were on holidays,” she said.
“This program is designed to add value to the school holiday period in a way that doesn't feel like a classroom or doesn't feel like a chore for the children involved.
“The aim is to keep children reading while having fun doing so.”
Jaala said participants of The Summer Reading Club could win reading challenges and earn badges, discover new books and explore their creativity through the website.
She said the program had been growing in popularity within the Bundaberg Region over the past three years.
“In the 2018 to 2019 the Summer Reading Club had 69 participants in total, the following year we had 93 participants and this summer a total of 229 participants have joined the club,” Jaala said.
“The program has been rolled out to libraries in Gin Gin, Childers and Bundaberg with a team of passionate staff helping to promote the program.
“We have had a massive jump in numbers, which has been really exciting.”
Jaala said what she loved most about the Summer Reading Club was its inclusivity.
“You don't necessarily have to be the best or most engaged reader- you can find something that will suit your reading style,” she said.
“The Summer Reading Club allows each library to add their own flavour to it and it can really be catered and altered to suit the community that you are serving.”
The next Summer Reading Club program will begin in December.
You can find out more by clicking here or by heading along to your local library.