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T-SPL’s new Elementary Reading Challenge

Do your children lament the end of summer reading? Having a physical representation of achieving a goal is a powerful motivator. It isn’t just the prizes that they want, they want to feel as though they’ve completed something that they’ve chosen to do rather than something they’re required to do. Elementary students have asked to join our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten after seeing the cars of our youngest readers on the wall. In response to these requests, the Youth Services Department has created an Elementary Reading Challenge that will begin in September.

The goal of the reading challenge is to inspire students to read things outside of their comfort zone and do activities surrounding their pleasure reading. Each month there will be a new challenge sheet available in the Junior Department at the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library. The sheet will have five challenges that must be completed before the end of the month. At least three of them involve reading a book about a specific topic or by a certain author. The challenges are designed to be flexible so that children of any age or reading level can participate. Once the paper is complete, the child returns the sheet to the Youth Services Desk. They’ll receive a placard that has their name and a spot for six stickers that will be hung up on the wall in the library. Each month that they complete the current reading challenge they’ll get a sticker on their placard. After six months of completing challenges and filling in their placard, they’ll complete their card and get their picture up on the wall for the next month. They’ll also receive a collectible 1″ pin back button with a special animal, which will change every six months so that no one will receive a repeat pin. If a month is missed along the way don’t worry. The months don’t have to be consecutive. After filling their placard the child is welcome to start over again by doing more monthly challenges and collecting new animal pins. This program is designed so there isn’t an end goal, but small goal posts to keep kids reading and engaging with the materials that they read. We’ll also have a display of books related to the challenge topics available for check out, along with providing any assistance on finding an appropriate book for every child.

Keeping reading fun for children is important. If they feel like it’s a chore then there is a chance that they’ll no longer reach for a book when they’re bored. At the library we strive to create a community of life long readers and learners, especially when it comes to children. Reading books for fun improves test scores, raises comprehension, encourages compassion and empathy for others, and so much more. Starting in September visit the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library with your elementary school student to pick up the first sheet of the brand new Elementary Reading Challenge.

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