The staff of Marin County Free Library’s Summer Learning programming can’t wait to keep the program growing a year after 7,744 young people participated. The program is under way and runs through August at various locations around the county.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors includes an “E for Education” as one of its ongoing priorities, and it supports MCFL’s efforts to become not just a place that supports reading but learning in general. MCFL advocates for summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education with a shared goal of helping young people succeed in college, career and life.
Studies show that third-grade reading scores are highly correlated with later academic success and often indicate whether a student will graduate from high school.
“Of course we are big fans of having fun in the summertime, but we’re proving that education in the summertime can be fun,” said Library Director Sara Jones. “We are proud that our program has become as popular as it is. We believe it’s a critical cog in ongoing educational experiences for local kids. We advocate that everybody – no matter what age – should strive to keep learning every day as part of a fulfilling life.”
In Marin, youngsters up to age 12 can sign up for the Summer Challenge at any MCFL branch and receive a folder to help them keep track of how many minutes they’ve read and provide ideas for fun learning activities. Kids can earn a “Book Buck” for every 100 minutes read (or are read to), exchange them for prizes at library branches or donate them to help the Marin Foster Care Association. The nonprofit Friends of the Marin County Free Library will provide matching funds – that’s in real dollars – to the Marin Foster Care Association for all Book Buck donations up to $500.
The Teen Summer Learning program features henna art sessions, maker events and movie nights. Students can test their knowledge online related to trivia, sports and Marin County history and compete for prizes with others. “Scratcher” points are awarded for participation in posting book reviews, attending library events and other activities, and the points champion gets the grand prize. Note that incoming fifth-graders may choose between the Summer Challenge program or the Teen Summer Learning program.
Those who can’t easily get to a MCFL branch won’t be left out. The “Summer Challenge to Go” program has been expanded to child development centers, public summer school locations and ranches in West Marin.
There is no formal registration for either program. Stop in to any MCFL branch or check www.marinlibrary.org for more details about the Summer Learning program.