Summer Reading

Summer library programs reach out into the communities where children are – at parks and recreation centers and at programs sponsored by community organizations. Financial literacy programs combine easily with summer reading and partnerships with schools, civic and social services organizations can play an important role. Discover how these libraries integrated summer reading into their existing programming schedule and engaged kids in learning how to earn, spend and save money.

Summer of Savings

The Earn Spend Save program at Boone County Public Library in Burlington, KY engages kids, teens and adults with a series of year-long workshops with practical financial programs for everyone. Engaging their audiences with topics that are important to them has led library staff to innovate and successfully integrate financial literacy with traditional library programs. “Summer of Savings” incorporates the Save topic in a year-round program in the summer reading program which includes all age groups. Instead of readers offering reviews, they are encouraged to offer a “Saving Tip”.

For Teens, the Summer Reading Challenge Program includes activities that match financial literacy objectives. Every activity is worth a Library Buck which can be used to enter a drawing and to pay library fines. A few of the activity choices are: open a savings account; calculate the 6% Kentucky state sales tax on the items you buy; figure how much money to leave as a 15% tip of total bill and finally; track your expenses for a week. Where does all the money go?

Summer Reading Club & Get Outdoors Program

In York, PA, the York County Library’s approach to year round programming uses children’s literature and the Right on the Money: Talking Dollars and Sense with Parents and Kids curriculum to introduce children to key financial concepts.

For the summer reading program York County Libraries and the Healthy York County Coalition joined forces for the sixth year to present the Summer Reading Club & Get Outdoors Program with a kick-off in 13 libraries and 25 parks. Promoted as part of family summer vacation plans, mini-camps for children include Right on the Money programs. Online registration helps organize and promote attendance with follow-up emails and contact with participants. In additional to public schools and in-library flyers, promotions for Right on the Money are distributed during the Home School Fair to over 11,000 children and teens. The excitement starts in early June with a countywide event and continues through mid-August.

Summer Lunch Club

In Port Clinton, Ohio, staff from the Ida Rupp Public Library teamed up with teachers at the Port Clinton City School District to provide financial literacy activities in conjunction with the United Way’s Summer Lunch Club. Many children rely on lunches they receive at school and this program provides free meals on Mondays and Thursdays at three locations each week. By combining the Summer Lunch Club with the library’s program, children in kindergarten through 4th grade have the chance to learn about money with planned arts and crafts, games, stories and fun activities all with a money theme. Using the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s activity book, Great Mind’s Think, a Kid’s Guide to Money, the program teaches children the difference between needs and wants, how to budget, and how to save. The library also brings books to lunch that the kids can take home. No check out required and they can bring books back next time and exchange them for new ones. Children also receive a coupon for each book they read which can be used to “purchase” additional books. A significant result of the library’s partnership with the schools is the now ongoing visits from library staff to school media centers. Each week during the school year library visits feature information literacy topics and a traveling collection of financial education materials.

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