Hoover Public Library Summer Reading Kickoff
More than 1,400 people participated in the kickoff event for the children's and teen's summer reading programs at Hoover Public Library in May. Video courtesy of Amanda Borden.
During the June 15 Hoover City Council meeting, Hoover Public Library Director Linda Andrews showed a video of the hundreds of people who arrived early to participate in the library's summer reading program.
More than 1,400 people participated in the kickoff event for the children's and teen's summer reading programs at Hoover Public Library in May, according to Amanda Borden, Hoover Public Library associate director.
"We were only expecting about 800 people," Borden said. "It was really a lot more than we anticipated."
The event, titled HERO-CON, was superhero themed. The library was divided into Marvel and DC comic book sections, where children played games, met superheros, and received prizes and handouts.
Now, the summer reading program has approximately 4,800 children and teens signed up to participate. Children and teens are given a reading log to keep track of the number of books they read and pages. Once they return to the library, they are given prizes based on how much they have read.
Borden said the reading program has two main objectives. One objective is to encourage parents to read out loud to their children through the preschool learning program at the library.
Children who have had parents read out loud to them learn to read faster, do better in school and listen better in school, according to Borden.
The other object is to prevent the learning loss that happens to students during the summer.
"If kids don't read, they lose a lot of their skills," said Katie Jane Morris, Hoover Public Library outreach librarian. "This way it's something fun to do and keeps the summer slide at bay."
Children who do not participate in educational activities during the summer experience learning loss, also known as the summer slide, according to the U.S. Department of Education. One of the best ways to prevent the summer slide is to read.
Morris helps children in the program find books to read. She said she does this by reading approximately 300 volumes a year.
"Each year it gets bigger and better, and the kids get more excited," Morris said. "And yes, they are excited about little prizes, but I have way more response when you hand them the book that they wanted or the book that they never knew they wanted but now think it's the greatest thing."
For more information, visit hooverlibrary.org.