Hey kids and parents! This summer, hop on the book bandwagon for a fun-filled journey of fables, fiction and more with the 2014 Mayor’s Summer Reading Club. The free eight-week program, which runs June 7 - August 2, encourages reading throughout the Dallas community. Presented byWalmart and Sam’s Club, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club is now a family affair, open to both children and adults. Sign up begins today (May 15) in person at any of the 29 Dallas library branches, online at dallaslibrary.orgor at the kick-off parties held Saturday, June 7, at all branches.
Young club members can win weekly incentive prizes – from free books and fun foods to zoo, circus and baseball tickets – simply by reporting what they read in person at any Dallas Public Library or online atdallaslibrary.org. Grand-prize drawings will be held for kids and adults who faithfully log reading hours for at least six of the eight weeks.
At a kick-off event held today at the Children’s Center at the J. Erik Jonsson Dallas Central Library, Mayor Mike Rawlings noted that while summer vacation may be around the corner, there’s no reason to stop reading. In fact, he says it’s more important than ever because year-round, regular reading keeps academic skills sharp, inspires curiosity, and enhances comprehension and vocabulary.
“All students experience some degree of learning loss during vacation months, but one of the best ways to prevent that from happening is to keep kids reading throughout the summer,” Mayor Rawlings said. “The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club makes reading exciting and gives children a way to earn terrific prizes. Getting parents and adults to read is also important because children model the behavior of the adults in their lives.”
Mayor Rawlings shared his personal passion for books by reading a favorite, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, to Dallas ISD students from Dallas ISD’s Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary School.
“We work every year to improve the Summer Reading Club, and this year we’re including new programming at our library branches for both adults and children,” Mayor Rawlings said. “Our goal this year is to make reading a family affair by getting mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and older siblings all involved.”
One major addition is a new initiative funded by The Dallas Foundation called STEAM, which represents STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) along with arts education. Activities will include forensic science, puppetry, catapults, tie-dye, circuitry, musical instruments, buoyancy, and LEGO engineering. Also, SMU has created the new SMU Summer Author Series at Dallas Public Library, which will feature SMU faculty and authors.
Delivering remarks today in support of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club were Tyson Vaughan, market manager for North Texas, Walmart/Sam’s Club; Kent Eastman, Dallas market president, Capital One Bank; Dr. David Chard, dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Mary Jalonick, president, The Dallas Foundation; Roger Rosen, CEO, Rosen Publishing; and Mary Jo Giudice, director, Dallas Public Library. The student mariachi band fromGreiner Middle School provided musical entertainment.
Mayor Rawlings also thanked Capital One Bank, Texas Instruments, Alliance Data, Rosen Publishing, First Southwest and SMU for already donating thousands of books to the drive. He also invited the public to get involved by donating books to select Capital One Bank locations by May 30 or by making a $10 donation to the Reading Club, which will buy two books for a child.
The rules for the Club are simple. Each week, participating young club members will have a chance to win an incentive prize by reporting what they read to any Dallas Public Library location. Children 7 and older are asked to read at least five hours per week, and children 6 and under are required to read three hours, whether reading with help or being read to, per week to earn a weekly prize. Three of the weekly prizes will include a new book for Reading Club participants up to 18 years of age. All readers may report any reading material including books, e-books, audiobooks and magazines.
Weekly incentive prizes include tickets and gift certificates to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels; Benihana Restaurant; Chipotle Mexican Grill; Dallas Children’s Theater; Dallas Zoo; FC Dallas; Mesquite Rodeo; Nasher Sculpture Center; Legoland; Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus; SMU (tickets to the Meadows Museum and a soccer game plus a drawstring bag); and the Texas Rangers.
Grand prizes include tickets, passes and gift certificates for area attractions and restaurants such as the Al Biernat's Restaurant; AMC NorthPark 15; American Airlines Center; ASI Gymnastics; Bahama Beach; Billy Bob's Texas; Brinker International; Casa Manana Theatre; Celebration Restaurant, Catering and Market; Chuy's Restaurant; Creative Arts Center of Dallas; Dallas Arboretum; Dallas Film Society; Dallas Marriot City Center; Dallas Museum of Art; Dallas Summer Musicals; Dallas Zoo; Fort Worth Zoo; Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation (for AT&T Stadium tour); HP; James Avery Jewelry; Jumpstreet; Ken's Man's Shop; Learning Express; LOOK Cinemas; Maggiano's Little Italy- NorthPark; Magic Time Machine; Medieval Times; Mesquite Arena; Neiman Marcus NorthPark; Perot Museum of Nature and Science; Place at Perry’s; Plano Symphony Orchestra; Pocket Sandwich Theatre; Richardson Bike Mart; SeaWorld San Antonio; Six Flags Over Texas; Speedzone Dallas; State Fair of Texas; Terilli’s Restaurant & Bar; Texas Motor Speedway; The Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas; The Dallas Opera; The Fairmont Dallas; The First Tee of Dallas; Theatre Three; Tootsies; and the YMCA.
For more than 40 years, the Dallas Public Library’s summer reading program has encouraged more than 250,000 children to read. The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club is a collaborative effort between the City of Dallas Mayor’s Office, the Dallas Public Library, Dallas ISD and dozens of community sponsors and donors.
Presenting sponsors are Walmart and Sam’s Club. Program sponsors are The Dallas Foundation; Capital One Bank; SMU; Dallas Mavericks; Mary Kay; Action Metals Recyclers; Texas Instruments (TI); Alliance Data; FirstSouthwest; Rosen Publishing; and FastSigns.
Donors are Carol and Steve Aaron; Judy and Phillip Askew; Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge; Randal Brown; Mara and David Deniger; Gina and Scott K. Ginsburg, Boardwalk Auto Group; Herb Kelleher; Ashlee and Chris Kleinert; Sarah and Alan Losinger; Mankoff Family Foundation; Honorable Anita N. Martinez; Alice and Erle Nye; Peter O’Donnell, Jr.; Sam Pack; Margot and Ross Perot; Deedie and Rusty Rose; Mrs. Harold Simmons; Gay and Bill Solomon; Mary and Mike Terry; and Shannon S. Wynne.
Media partners are Fox 4 and My 27, Univision 23, K104, Smooth R&B 105.7, 94.1 Eagle and 107.9 La Jefa, Al Dia and The Greensheet.
Kick-off celebrations will be held Saturday, June 7, at all 29 Dallas Library branches. Check local branches or the website for specific times and activities.
To sign up or learn more, go to dallaslibrary.org or call 214-670-1671.