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Metro Newsroom 

Library Summer Program Nets More Readers

Tuesday September 5, 2006

29 percent increase in young readers in one year; program triples number of summer readers over past decade

Mayor Jerry Abramson today congratulated students at Portland Elementary for being among the 28,447 area young people who read at least 10 books in 10 weeks to complete the Louisville Free Public Library’s summer-reading program.

“Active readers are active learners,” Abramson told the students. “By developing solid reading skills you are building a foundation for lifelong learning.”

The Library’s annual summer reading program grew significantly this year, attracting 6,364 more young readers than last year, a 29 percent increase. In the past ten years, the number of young people completing the program has nearly tripled, from about 10,000 readers in 1997 to close to 30,000 readers this summer.

This year’s program, “Dare to Read!” ran from May 20 to July 29, and motivated children aged 0 to 14 to read for fun in the summer months, to encourage the habit of reading and to maintain or to increase reading skills. The program also encouraged parents and caregivers to develop reading rituals with children from birth. Each child that read 10 books was rewarded with prizes.

“Our library staff at all of our branches worked very hard through outreach and events to achieve gains in the number of 10-book readers this summer,” said Library Director Craig Buthod. “We also worked with childcare centers, summer camps and community centers to focus on summer reading to help ensure every child would go back to school better readers.”

Abramson said the community-wide Every1Reads initiative also contributed to the growth of summer reading.

“We want reading to be on everyone’s mind. By encouraging our adults to be reading role models for students, we are raising the awareness of the importance of reading and heightening the value placed on reading skills,” Abramson said. “The summer-reading program provides an important way to celebrate the reading success of our young people.”

Portland Elementary is one of three Jefferson County Public Schools that had 100 percent of students complete the 2006 summer-reading program. Students at Portland, a year-round school, met the 10-book goal in just two weeks by reading for 90 minutes every day. Rangeland and Roosevelt Perry elementary schools also had all students complete the program.

Thirteen library branches saw significant gains in summer-reading completion this year, including increases of 90 percent or more at the Portland and Southwest branches. Eight bookmobile sites and 21 child care or community centers across the community achieved 100 percent completion as well.

Sponsors of the Library’s summer-reading program include: E-on|US Foundation; LG&E, an E-on company; The Rotary Club of Louisville; UPS; The Library Foundation; Papa John’s; and Insight Communications. Prize sponsors include the Louisville Zoo; Music Theatre Louisville; The Speed Art Museum; Squire Boone Caverns; Louisville Slugger Museum; Louisville Bats; YMCA; Thomas Edison House; Wendy’s; Louisville Science Center; Stage One.

Summer Reading 2006: Dare to Read!


28,447 ten-book readers completed this year’s Summer Reading. That’s a 29% increase with 6,364 more children who Dared to Read this summer.

Groups with 100% completion include:

  • Year round schools: All students at Portland Elementary, Rangeland and Roosevelt Perry completed summer reading: 315 at Portland; 372 at Roosevelt Perry; and, 379 at Rangeland. Students at Portland read for 90 minutes every day and finished in the first two weeks of school.

  • RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) sites: 8 of 20 RIF sites had 100% completion.

  • Bookmobile sites:
    • LCCC Louisville Central Community Center (Western)
    • Meyzeek Community School (Smoketown)
    • Corinthian Life Center (Portland)
    • St. Benedict's CDC (Shawnee)
    • Trinity House Christian Childcare (Shawnee).
    • Derby City Community Center (Newburg)
    • Southwest YMCA at Stuart Middle School (Southwest)
    • Eastern Star (Shawnee)

  • Branch outreach sites with 100% completion:
    • Mary Anita Day Care (Crescent Hill)
    • Mt. Nebo Baptist (Crescent Hill)
    • Goldsmith Child Enrichment Program (Bon Air)
    • Middletown Methodist Development Center (Middletown)
    • Waggner Preschool (St. Matthews)
    • St. Gabriel Daycare (Fern Creek)
    • Bright Expectations (Fern Creek)
    • Playworld (Fern Creek)
    • Iroquois Childcare (Iroquois)
    • Lakeside Academy (Jeffersontown)
    • Tully YMCA (Jeffersontown)
    • Treehouse Daycare (Jeffersontown)
    • Neighborhood House (Portland)
    • Shively Child Care (Shively)
    • Highlands Community Ministries (Highland-Shelby Park)
    • Vine Street Baptist Daycare (Highland-Shelby Park)
    • Rise & Shine Daycare (Highland-Shelby Park)
    • Holy Family Summer Camp (Highland-Shelby Park)
    • Highland Educational Center for Kids (Highland-Shelby Park)
    • Our Lady of Peace (Highland-Shelby Park)
    • Bloom Elementary Child Enrichment Program (Highland-Shelby Park)

Summer Reading Accomplishments throughout the library system…Outreach efforts by library staff at all branches produced great gains in the number of 10 book readers:

  • The Main Library had more children complete Summer Reading who participated in programs like Down the Stretch, a weekly program that helped them reach the goal of reading 10 books as they read together at the library.

  • Bon Air offered weekly science programs that drew regular audiences who are asking for more science related programs.

  • The Westport Library increased completion by 35% over last year with 207 additional 10 book readers.

  • The Crescent Hill Library increased completion 14% over last year with 142 additional 10 book readers.

  • More new families visited the Fairdale branch as a result of weekly programs that drew them to visit for the first time. And, Fairdale gave away a book to every family that attends the finale celebration for their neighborhood.

  • The Middletown Library had a 66% increase in 10 book readers this summer. They made great strides building completion through outreach that encouraged 897 more children to complete the program.

  • St. Matthews had 35% more children complete summer reading where all branch staff helped promote the program throughout the summer everywhere they had a chance.

  • Fern Creek – Families came to visit this renovated library and 28% more children completed the program after discovering what the library had to offer.

  • Highlands/Shelby Park – This library produced 16% more 10 book readers than last year and worked with 7 child care sites with 100% completion by all children.

  • Iroquois – 35% more children completed Summer Reading at Iroquois this year than last.

  • Jeffersontown – 49% more children completed the program as staff made weekly calls to area child care centers to check in on their progress toward the goal.

  • Okolona – 35% more children completed Summer Reading when staff made it their goal to make regular visits to smaller daycare centers in their neighborhood.

  • Portland – 90% more children were 10 book readers this year. Portland Elementary had 100% of their students completed summer reading in the first two weeks of school.

  • Shawnee – 51% more children completed Summer Reading and attribute their success to a yearlong effort to build relationships with childcare providers throughout the neighborhood, making multiple visits to many locations throughout the summer to help children reach the goal of reading 10 books.

  • Southwest – 93% more children completed Summer Reading at this branch library. Southwest staff visited every public and private school, every childcare center serving at risk children, every site providing free and reduced lunch to children, every CEP camp, and went to any daycare site that made a request for summer reading promotion.

  • Western – 22% more children completed Summer Reading. 100% of the students at Roosevelt Perry completed the program.

  • The Bookmobiles – 8 bookmobile sites had 100% completion this summer.



Child reading a book

Every 1 Reads