Saturday, 27 November 2021

The BIG Summer Read

Research has identified a phenomenon known as the ‘summer slide’, which refers to the loss of literacy skills over the summer holidays when children do not read—estimated on average as the equivalent of two to three months of reading proficiency. Loss of reading proficiency is most acute in children from economically disadvantaged communities. The decline in learning gains is made worse by successive COVID lockdowns.

Public libraries are in a unique and advantageous position to address the summer slide; studies have found that children who receive and read free books over summer experience the equivalent of attending three years of summer school, with the most economically disadvantaged children gaining the most from such initiatives.

A Victorian approach to the summer reading club/challenges typically offered by public libraries will raise awareness of the benefits of reading over summer and will ensure all Victorians have access to resources that have been proven to slow the slide. It also helps position our libraries as vital community resources in early childhood development, helping to foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.

The BIG Summer Read, developed by the Children’s and Youth Services Special Interest Group (CYS SIG) aims to slow the slide by engaging children and their families in a fun and dynamic campaign supported by Beanstack, a user-friendly website (with an intuitive mobile app) that makes it easy to register, track reading and earn digital ‘badges’ as rewards for reaching reading milestones.

Forty-eight of Victoria’s public library services have registered to participate in the BIG Summer Read, with the aim of engaging 10,000 school-aged children across the state this summer. An increase in library loans, engagement and literacy levels are expected, and it is hoped the program will build on the wonderful Libraries Change Lives campaign and improve cross-sector collaboration into the future.

How do I join?

Registrations for the 2021 BIG Summer Read are now open! Click here to register on Beanstack

There are fun challenges for children to complete and prizes to be won simply by registering on the Beanstack website and logging books read over the summer holidays. Download the free app here:

PLUS, double the chance to win even more prizes! Simply visit the library to register your child for the BIG Summer Read and they can be one of the first 100 participants to receive a fun starter kit.

Find out how they can get even more prizes to keep them reading throughout the summer holidays with four easy steps.

  1. Collect a BIG Summer Read pack from Swan Hill Regional Library between 1 December 2021 and 31 January 2022 – we have 100 to give away so don’t let your child miss out!
  2. When they read ten books or for ten hours and return their completed reading log to us, they will receive a meal voucher from their choice of Subway or McDonald’s (we have 100 of each to give away).
  3. Repeat step 2 for more chances to win! The second reading log returned will receive another awesome meal voucher from Subway or McDonald’s.
  4. Return a third completed reading log and they will receive a family swim pass to the Swan Hill Leisure Centre (we have 100 to give away).

There is no limit to the number of reading logs children can return to the library. Each completed reading log returned to the library goes into our major prize draw. It’s simple. The more completed reading logs they return to the library the more entries they will have in our major prize draw to be held at the library on Friday, 11 February 2022! The winners chosen from the Beanstack website will also be presented with their prizes at the draw.

When does the BIG Summer Read start?

The program starts on 1 December 2021 and finishes on 31 January 2022 but you can register now. Only books logged between these dates count towards the program and any prize draws.

What is Beanstack?

Beanstack is an application that incentivises reading and allows users to keep track of how many books/audiobooks have been read. A mobile app (also known as Beanstack Tracker) makes this easy with features including a barcode scanner and reading timer.

Who can participate?

The program is aimed at primary-aged children, but all children under 18 are welcome to participate.
Children under the age of 13 will need their parent’s permission in order to register with Beanstack.  Parents can use the Family Account feature to track all of their children’s reading from a single login.

Please note: Each participating library service has their own terms and conditions or eligibility criteria for winning prizes so please check with library staff for confirmation.

What are the prizes?

Prizes will be announced shortly – please check back again later.