Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Summer So Far

CC: Moyan Brenn
After this week, we'll be halfway through the Summer Reading Club, and I have definitely started a document with notes for next year. Although it may be all you can do to stay afloat during these summer months, this is a great time to be thinking about what's working and what's not. My staff and I will be having a debriefing meeting in August to talk about what we want to keep/change for next year, but I want to make sure I have a place to jot down my thoughts before that meeting.

Some items on my list:

  • We're thinking about what prizes and coupons we'd like to give out next year. We've generally taken whatever donations we could get, but I think it's time to be a little more intentional and maybe edge away from giving away so much fast food. 
  • I'm thinking about how our requirements are working and whether we might like to change that next year. We had a lot of changes this year (moving from counting books/pages to counting minutes/books and also having the program online for the first time). Part of me hates to change things up again next year, but we'll see what staff want to do. I'm really intrigued by the notion of counting every day that you read something, with the intention of creating a reading habit, rather than adding up the number of minutes or books read. This is something we'll have to evaluate at the end of the summer to see how many people have followed up and completed the SRC. 
  • I'm also intrigued by the idea of adding some kind of physical activity goal to our program. Somehow? 
In general, things have been going very well... We don't have as many signed up for the Daycare Summer Reading Club as I thought we might, but we'll push it harder next year after we've had feedback from this year's groups. The main thing is that it's WAY easier for my staff to deal with groups that want to sign up large numbers of kids, which is exactly what we were going for.

And our families love doing it online. It's easier for them, easier for us, and we've had no major issues.

Program attendance has been down a bit, especially last week. Typically we see an attendance decrease in July as families take vacations, but I'm wondering if our public schools' earlier start date is causing folks to leave town earlier this summer. Our schools are moving to a balanced schedule (meaning more time off during the year and shorter summer breaks), so they'll be going back to school August 1 this year.

How's your summer going?