Tony Smoke, Birmingham Division Manager for Alabama Power and Foundation Board Member,
presents a check for $15,000 to help fund Summer Reading programs at BPL
Each year, public libraries across the United States prepare for the summer months by coordinating programs and incentives to encourage reading by individuals of all ages—especially children. This year, staff at the eighteen (Pratt City is scheduled to reopen later this year) libraries in the Birmingham Public Library System, have been preparing for Summer Reading 2013 since December of 2012. The result of their planning will be more than 300 programs designed for audiences of all ages. Program information can be found by visiting the library’s website at http://www.bplonline.org/summerreading.aspx. Summer Reading signup kicks off on Monday, May 13.
The Alabama Power Foundation is the lead sponsor for this year’s programming. Birmingham native and NFL player Jerricho Cotchery and the Cotchery Foundation will once again provide a skills and drills camp to encourage teen participation. Cotchery is a wide receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Other partner organizations are providing incentives as well including Reach Out and Read and Alabama Public Television. Their “Prescription for Reading” addition to the Summer Reading initiative encourages pediatricians throughout Alabama to get out their pads and write prescriptions for reading.
The primary goal of library Summer Reading is to encourage children to read for pleasure. Libraries offer special events and incentives to encourage children of all ages, from infants to teens, to read what they enjoy, and to read often. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers are also invited to participate and help pre-readers enjoy books and develop a love of reading.
Last year, the Birmingham Public Library registered 5,815 children and teens who read 37,906 books. The library offered 365 programs with an attendance of 15,016. In addition, the library registered 1066 adults in the summer reading program. The library offered 81 programs with an attendance of 1,000. Adult summer reading participants read 6,888 books.
Readers of all ages will explore all things underground as Birmingham Public Library presents "Dig Into Reading." Activities will include programs on dinosaurs, special guest musicians, live animal demonstrations, arts and crafts, story times and lots more.
Additional goals of summer reading include:
- Help children develop positive attitudes about reading and books
- Enable children to maintain their reading skills during summer vacation (Summer Reading equals Better Grades)
- Encourage regular use of the Birmingham Public Library
- Attract new library users
- Promote library services and materials throughout the community
- Foster cooperation between community agencies
- Offer opportunities for children to learn and grow through interactive presentations
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please check with your local Birmingham Public Library for additional program offerings and program updates. For more information, contact Janine Langston, Birmingham Public Library, (205) 226-3757 or visit the library’s website at www.bplonline.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with nineteen locations and serving the community for 126 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.