Summer Stars is an annual programme which promotes children’s literacy and reading development. It takes place during the summer months and focuses on encouraging children to develop and continue the reading habit during their school holidays.
Summer Stars is the national reading programme for children taking place in all 330 public libraries throughout the country this summer, from the 15th of June until the end of August. The reading adventure encourages children to read over their summer holidays, to enjoy the fun and pleasure of reading and participate in the related events and activities at their local library.
Summer Stars is a completely free programme and open to all children. Each child simply keeps a record of the books they read on their reading card and gets recognition and encouragement for each step along the way. At the end of the programme, all children who participated will receive their own certificate of achievement at a special awards event.
With the school holidays approaching, the summer months provide an ideal opportunity for children to take time to find books they really enjoy and experience reading as an activity which is fun and a source of entertainment.
Access to books and reading for pleasure is well known to have many important long-term benefits. In fact, children who develop an interest in reading have been found to have greater self-esteem and well-being, greater creativity, better social and health outcomes, and an overall better quality of life as they get older.
With younger children, just talking about the story, the pictures in a book and the characters, and making connections from these to the child’s own life can particularly improve their emotional development, confidence and understanding of the world. The advantages that children get from regular exposure to reading material in their early years have been found to last throughout their lives.
The Summer Stars at your local library provides the whole family with an opportunity to explore the full range of events and facilities which are available, including story time sessions, book clubs, children’s activities, access to talking books and games, workshops, computers and internet access, and of course children’s books for all ages.
View book reviews from children around the country, and even add your own!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss
Throughout the year, a programme of events for the whole family is available through your local library service, such as story time sessions and children’s activities, as well as access to exciting collections of children’s books, ebooks and e-audio books for all ages.
Check out your local library service or local library website for further information on local activities and events.
The core aims of the Summer Stars reading programme are:
- To develop increased enjoyment of reading
- To boost children’s motivation to read at home and to experience reading as a fun activity
- To maintain/improve reading motivation and performance during the summer holidays
- To widen the reading range and repertoire of the children who participate
- To engage reluctant and hard to reach readers
- To encourage family literacy
- To further engage children and their families in the resources and services available through their library service
Children can sign up for the programme in their local library at the start of the summer and are encouraged to read as many books as they can during the months of July and August. Children will receive a card for tracking their reading progress and may be periodically given rewards to further encourage them to keep reading. At the end of the programme participating children will receive an awards certificate and be invited to attend an awards celebration by their local library.
TOP TIPS FOR READING WITH CHILDREN
Encourage children to choose stories they are likely to really enjoy.
Try to keep stories appropriate to their reading level. If too hard or too easy, they may lose interest or confidence.
Comic books or graphic novels can be a good way of helping children to follow the story if they have difficulty reading or are reluctant readers.
When they find a word they don’t understand, try to avoid telling them the meaning straightaway. Ask them instead to guess what the unknown word is likely to be based on the pictures near to it or by looking at the full sentence around it.
Give lots of encouragement and praise for even the smallest accomplishment.
Focus on the enjoyment and fun of reading. If you show an interest in reading and learning yourself, your child will be more likely to follow your lead and explore as well.