On the Shelves: Library and school get silly to get kids to read

It was a hair-raising experience when Maryland Science Center Education Outreach Specialist Seth Schuler introduced a school student to static electricity using the Van de Graaff machine during a Traveling Science program. Submitted photo.

It was a hair-raising experience when Maryland Science Center Education Outreach Specialist Seth Schuler introduced a school student to static electricity using the Van de Graaff machine during a Traveling Science program. Submitted photo.

by Reading, ice cream, and duct tape. It does sounds like a rather odd combination. And during the upcoming June 2 assembly at Clearview Elementary School in Brogue, the students will learn exactly what it means.

According to Principal Sheila Hughes, it all started with a conversation with Ellen Helfrick, branch librarian at the Collinsville Community Library.

“Ellen approached the school wanting to increase student participation in the summer reading program,” said Hughes. “I offered to help in any way that I could — even with an incentive of duct taping myself to the wall, if that would help.”

As it turns out, “We were both willing to be a little silly,” added Helfrick. “Especially, if it meant getting more kids reading over the summer.”

It was also a pretty safe bet that Clearview Elementary School Reading Specialists Brianna Paup and Jennifer Strobeck would rally behind the initiative they were dreaming up, and they did indeed.

Together, they created the following challenge for the kids: If 150 Clearview students sign up for the upcoming summer program at the library, Hughes will be ceremoniously duct-taped to a wall in September.

A girl reacts to the thick white cloud being blown her way by Scienceteller Alexis Tzap at a performance.  The cloud of carbon dioxide gas instantly formed when Tzap added dry ice to water in the bucket she is holding. Submitted.

A girl reacts to the thick white cloud being blown her way by Scienceteller Alexis Tzap at a performance. The cloud of carbon dioxide gas instantly formed when Tzap added dry ice to water in the bucket she is holding. Submitted.

And if those students read for at least 30,000 minutes between June 1 and August 17, then Helfrick will be stuck to the wall as well.

And here is where the ice cream comes in: When school resumes in August, Paup and Strobeck will host an ice cream social for all Clearview students who read for 800 minutes as part of the library’s summer reading program.

Helfrick will be there too, telling stories while the students enjoy their ice cream. I wonder if she’ll know her fate by then, and that of Hughes? After all, who willingly volunteers to be duct taped to a wall?

These professionals say they have an important reason behind the fun. According to Hughes, students and teachers work hard building literacy skills during the school year.

“If students do not participate in reading over the summer, the students will experience a regression when they return to school,” explained Hughes, adding that “it only widens the gap between themselves and their peers.”

Each summer, York County Libraries and GO York! create a combined summer reading club and physical activity program that encourages kids to keep reading and get active during summer vacation.

Collinsville Community Library is one of the 13 York County library locations where kids can sign up for the program. Registration is also online at www.yorklibraries.org beginning June 1.

This year’s theme “GO & Experiment Fizz Boom Read” features visits by the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium, Sciencetellers and Ryan Bridge “The Bug Man”, just to name a few.

Plus, when kids and their families follow the GO York! clues at area parks, they will be searching for science terms like atom, cell, element and friction.

The whole summer is packed with learning opportunities that are recreational at the same time. The program is geared for children ages birth to 18 years and is created in such a way that the entire family can get involved.

Thanks to our many business partners who donate prizes as reading incentives and our corporate sponsors, the York Water Company and Wellspan Health, there is no cost to join.

GO York! kick-off event

Where: The York Expo Center- Horticultural Hall

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 31

Featuring: Maryland Science Center “Science Unscripted”; face painting by Changing Faces 4 Fun; early sign-up for the summer reading program
HD Box: Summer Reading Club

Summer Reading Club runs from June 1 to August 17 and kids ages birth to 18 years can sign up at any time during the summer program. Most join near the beginning for more time to and more opportunities to attend free programs, crafts, and activities. New this year, the official program book “Lab Notes” will be online at www.yorklibraries.org beginning June 1.

Deb Sullivan is community relations director of York County libraries.

This entry was posted in Books, For kids, Library events, Literacy, Summer reading program 2014 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.