August 23, 2011
THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY’S 2011 SUMMER READING PROGRAM BREAKS RECORDS YET AGAIN
Chicago Public Library’s 2011 Summer Reading Program, Book Beats, broke records for both number of participants and books read. This summer more than 58,000 children read 1.4 million books in the eight-week program! This exceeded the previous year’s Summer Reading Program totals by 17%.
“Fun, enriching activities like the Chicago Public Library’s reading programs make summer a time for Chicago’s children to learn and stretch their imaginations,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Congratulations to this summer’s participants for breaking reading records and keeping their brains limber as we prepare to go back to school.”
Since 1977, the Chicago Public Library Summer Reading Program has been encouraging the enjoyment of books and reading. Studies have shown that children who participate in summer reading programs achieve academic and vocabulary gains, while children who don’t read over their summer break experience a learning loss.
“In neighborhood libraries and parks across Chicago, children experienced music and books through hands-on programs presented by our dedicated librarians,” said Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey. “The Chicago Public Library is grateful to all the partners, sponsors, volunteers and staff who made this summer’s program so successful.”
Book Beats participants between the ages of 3 and 14 years old explored the world of music through storytelling, crafts, programs and, of course, books! Through a partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia and Chicago Public Schools, children were encouraged to read while learning how music fills their lives through exciting, hands-on programs. Kids experienced jazz, blues, gospel, hip-hop, world and country music and even discovered the hidden sounds in everyday objects—all while reading books.
Children between the ages of 3 to 8 years old earned a T-shirt with the Book Beats logo after reading their first 25 books. After completing their first 10 chapter books, children 9 to 14 years old received a Book Beats T-shirt. In August, all readers received a certificate declaring them a Rahm’s Reader, and were invited along with their families to attend a special Reader’s Night celebration at Millennium Park. Mayor Emanuel stopped by the Mount Greenwood Branch to personally distribute the Rahm’s Reader certificates and congratulate the kids and their families on their achievement.
Book Beats Summer Reading Program was supported by the Chicago Public Library Foundation and sponsored by the Dr. Scholl Foundation, Kraft Foods Foundation, Citadel Foundation, Cubs Care, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation, Macy’s Foundation, ComEd, Helen M. Harrison Foundation, Chicago Sun-Times, R.R.Donnelley, Leo Burnett, the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Sky and RPM.
The Chicago Public Library continues to encourage lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology.
The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and more than 70 neighborhood branches. All locations provide free access to a rich collection of books, DVDs, audio books and music; the Internet and WiFi; sophisticated research databases, many of which can be accessed from a home or office computer; newspapers and magazines; and continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are open 7 days a week, the branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the Library’s collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website at www.chicagopubliclibrary.org or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.