Buffalo and Erie County Public Library celebrated the start of their “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” program with a wonderful kick off event on June 13th. This launch event for western New York State highlighted the hundreds of special programs and events that have been planned for this upcoming summer as part of the Summer Reading initiative at the BECPL.
New York State Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education Jeffrey W. Cannell attended and made remarks at the event. “The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System joins 1,100 public libraries and more than 1.65 million young people inNew York State who are expected to participate in Summer Reading activities. I encourage families to use their libraries because they have so much to offer.”
Two highlights of the BECPL’s Summer Reading Program are the “Read Down Your Fines” program and the “Battleof the Books” program. “Read Down Your Fines” gives children ages 16 and under an opportunity to read-off overdue library fines. For every 15 minutes of reading, a child can earn library bucks toward reducing or eliminating overdue fines. All local libraries will be running the program through September 1. The 14th Annual “Battleof the Books” takes place on Saturday, August 4. This popular summertime team trivia competition is for youth entering grades six through nine. There are currently 35 teams from local libraries who are all reading the same books as they prepare for trivia questions about those books while vying for the coveted “Battle” title and trophy.
Participants in the kick off event included the general public, local elected officials, and 40 kindergarten students fromEnterprise Charter School in Buffalo. At the end of the program, “Maisy,” the well know picture book character distributed a special book for each child to keep, compliments of the Library System.
“Last year, more than 39,000 children and teenagers took advantage of library Summer Reading programs right here inErieCounty,” said Mary Jean Jakubowski, Library System director. “Just because school is over doesn’t mean reading should stop. In fact libraries provide tremendous resources and support all summer long. Summer Reading is a fun way to keep kids academically sharp for when they head back to school.”