It is usually offered in person, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the British Columbia government has decided to go virtual.
The British Columbia government has announced a $65,000 investment to allow the BC Summer Reading Club to switch to an online book club this summer.
It’s the first time ever that the BC Summer Reading Club will be available virtually to children and their families, according to a provincial government press release.
“Fun and engaging programs like the BC Summer Reading Club that help our kids strengthen their literacy skills and stay motivated to keep reading over the summer are even more important this year,” Rob Fleming, B.C.’s minister of education, said in the release.
The BC Summer Reading Club is a free literacy program that is available at the province’s 71 public libraries. The program is available for children age between the ages of 5 and 14, as well as their families. This year’s theme according to the province is Explore Our Universe, featuring illustrations by local artist Bambi Edlund.
“BCLA is pleased and proud to work with public libraries to deliver the Summer Reading Club to B.C.’s families and children. With the addition of the Summer Reading Club online registration website, we believe families will have greater access to a library program that supports literacy, reading and summer fun,” said Christine Middlemass, president of the British Columbia Library Association.
As this year’s BC Summer Reading Club has gone virtual, a number of new features have been added to the program such as digital badges for reaching reading goals, as well as a certificate of completion for finishing the program. There will also be live events and video demonstrations, including hands-on crafts and experiments, as well as weekly stay-at-home activity packages, and a dashboard for parents or guardians to track their kids’ reading progress and badges they’ve earned.
“Kids can read whatever they want, including story books, information books, graphic novels and comic books, in whatever language they feel most comfortable reading in. They can also listen to someone else read or tell stories,” the province said in its release.
BC Summer Reading Club has been in place for nearly 30 years and in 2019 it reached more than 173,085 children in more than 200 communities, according to the province.
Online registration for BC SRC begins June 15. To register and more information, visit https://bcsrc.ca/.