As kids are now back at school for the year, the summer programming at Jake Epp Library has come to an end. 

Steph McLean, Program Director at Jake Epp Library, says the summer reading program went great. 

“We had over 350 kids walk through the library doors to do a program of some sort. Some of them came back every week, some of them could commit to only coming once over summer,” she says. “We saw lots of new faces, lots of returning faces, and got to see them all just thrive.” 

She says coming to the library with your kids is a great way to learn about what books interest them. 

“They don't get to go to the school libraries with their kids, so they don't know necessarily what their kids are into. So getting to browse the shelves where their kids can show them around is kind of unique.” 

The library had book clubs running all summer long where kids could come every week to read and discuss books. 

McLean says summer reading makes a huge difference in children, using the analogy of a rubber band. 

“If you have a rubber band and you only use it once a month, it's going to stay the same rubber band with the same elasticity forever. If you use that rubber band every single day, it's going to remember how stretched out it is, and so reading kind of works the same way.” 

She says even if kids read just a page or two a day, it keeps the process going. 

The library gave away six prizes for the summer reading challenge. Five of the prizes were $50 gift cards, and the other was a one-year membership to the library. 

Throughout the summer, kids in grade school could bring in a ballot for every book they read. 

The library received over 1000 ballots. 

“We lost count over 1000. We had a little bit too much fun reading the ballots because they got to rate the books that they read, which is fun.” 

She says graphic novels are really popular among kids these days. 

“Graphic novels tend to have chapters and a little bit more of a longer storyline than a comic. Comics are usually a couple of pages long, but they are a great gateway to chapter books.” 

She says some people don’t know if graphic novels are the way to go, but McLean says they are a great bridge to chapter books. 

“It gets kids used to reading a book that is as long as a chapter book, but you slowly then ease them into books with less and less pictures.”  

The staff at Jake Epp Library are thrilled to now be moving into fall programming. 

The Healthy Child Coalition Southeast gave the library a grant to run preschool programs all year, and they got another grant through the Literacy Foundation toward Story Corner. 

“So every Wednesday for the entire year, you get to come down to the library with your preschoolers, homeschoolers at 10 AM and we have story time for 45 minutes,” she says. “And then we have all of our great evening programs, board games, crafts, Lego night and all that great stuff.” 


With files from Michelle Sawatzky


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