Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) received an award for “Outstanding Innovative Outreach” at the Virginia Public Library Directors Association Conference in Syria, Va. on April 25. The library won for its 2013 Summer Reading Challenge outreach to six Title I schools, partnering with Virginia Beach City Public Schools to combat “summer slide,” the learning loss that can occur when children are out of the classroom during summer.
The schools’ libraries and computer labs were open to students and their families while VBPL’s youth librarians, in collaboration with schools’ Title I staff, provided interactive programs and literacy activities. Students and their families registered and participated online in VBPL’s Summer Reading Challenge, tracking their reading time to earn incentives. Funding for programming and prizes was provided by the Friends of the Virginia Beach Public Library. The students also received eight books and a writing journal selected by a committee of Title I teachers.
Upon return to school in fall, the participating students’ Developmental Reading Assessment scores were compared with their end-of-year scores from the prior school year. Following the enriching learning activities and reading as part of VBPL’s outreach, 75 percent of the children maintained or improved their reading skills.
Based on the success in 2013, VBPL’s Summer Reading Challenge Title I outreach is expanding into 11 schools for 2014.
About Virginia Beach Public Library
A community anchor for more than 50 years, Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music and magazines in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, as well as movies, music, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit www.VBgov.com/libraries for more information.