Over 2,000 participants spent almost 14,000 hours reading-that is over 41,300 books-during this year’s Summer Reading Program at the South Pasadena Public Library. Fifty teen volunteers contributed over 2,300 hours of service during the program which ran from June 5-Aug. 5.
Surveys taken after the program showed that highlights included “Wonderful Wednesdays” which included a puppet show; magic, and animals. Over 750 people participated in these events. Other hits were a hands-on STEM workshop provided by teens from the South Bay; art-in the-park; story-telling, craft time and a tween creative writing series featuring professional writers.
Parents gave the program rave reviews.
“The Arty Loon show was nothing less than magical,” one parent wrote in a survey. “Hands on science made my daughter so happy I wanted to cry. Also loved the puppet show. And the weekly crafts. So great to have a big block of time so I don’t skip my son’s nap for an activity my daughter so loves. Thank you for an excellent program.”
A teen participant wrote: “I offer my thanks to the library for being a public service that has supported and provided countless reading selections for my use and that of others. I also want to extend compliments to the teen reading program.”
“I’ve enjoyed participating in the program and especially take pride and appreciate having the opportunity to share my knowledge of books with others through the Teen Rave Reviews.”
Other program highlights included the 65 students who attended Lego® Mania, the 85 marchers in the Festival of Balloons Parade, and the children who participated in the two Barks and Books sessions, where children read to specially trained dogs.
More teens participated in the program than in previous years. The teens were invaluable in running the program and their work preparing and distributing craft materials, setting up furniture for programs, straightening the Children’s Room, and shelving material.
Several elementary school students raised funds to complete their community service assignments and donated their proceeds to the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, while community-spirited individuals, organizations, and businesses contributed monetary support and prizes.
Summer Reading Program has been offered for decades and the results were evident by the remarks of one student: “I have done the SRP since Kindergarten and I love it.” Senior Children’s Librarian Maida Wong notes, “Parents participated as children and they return to share the fun with their own children. South Pasadena is lucky to have such a strong cycle of support for reading.”