Summerland is back!

By Susan Townley

I think we are all ready for summer to begin this year! A sure sign of summer is the arrival of the TD Summer Reading Club and the Ottawa Public Library’s online celebration of summer, Summerland, is back this year. Every summer across Canada, more than 2,000 public libraries encourage children to keep reading and participate in the TD Summer Reading Club, a free bilingual program. Library summer reading clubs provide an important way for children to maintain their reading skills, confidence and motivation. Children who participate in summer reading clubs not only maintain their grade level in reading, they also enter the fall a few months ahead. This year more than ever, the challenge of not falling behind on reading skills over the summer is critical. Most importantly, libraries and their summer reading clubs encourage a life-long love of reading!

The Ottawa Public Library has many online fun-filled programs, games and prizes this summer. We are offering some returning favourites and some brand-new online programs as well. Our regular online English, French and bilingual weekly Storytimes emphasize literacy and numeracy skills for preschool and kindergarten children. For school-age readers, Books Talk is a fun online book club where kids get together as a group to discuss their favourite books and characters with a library staff member who will lead the discussion and activities. Dungeons and Dragons fans will enjoy creating a story with our OPL Staff Dungeon Master. There is a new D&D adventure every week all summer long.

We also have many special guests joining us online to offer programs for a variety of ages and interests. You can practise yoga with Little Lotus Yoga, dance with Luv2Groove, act with the Company of Fools, be a scientist with the Maker Mobile of uOttawa, play music online with musician Joel Jacques, observe the sky with astronomer Dave Chisholm and make a puppet with puppeteer Mike Harding. These are just a few of the amazing programs that will be happening all summer long. Some programs require registration with a library card. You can register online or over the phone in advance to get a children’s library card.

The TD Summer Reading Club will start with a virtual kick off at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29, but you can join the club anytime throughout the summer, starting June 23. You do not need a library card to join the TD Summer Reading Club or to participate in many of the programs. Visit your local library branch or bookmobile stop to grab a Summer Reading Club kit, which includes a fun bilingual notebook, a web access code, stickers and a fortune-teller. You can create an online notebook to record all your summer reads on the TD Summer Reading Club website. You can also read e-books without a waitlist, vote in the Battle of the Books, answer weekly trivia questions, write stories and jokes. You can also read a web comic created especially for the club and participate in workshops by this year’s special author and illustrator Ashley Spires!

Visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for all the details about this summer of fun. See you in Summerland!

Susan Townley loves to sing, dance and have fun every day in the Children’s Department at the Sunnyside Branch Library.

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