Today is the official start of Summer Reading. However, I have spent the last month (okay, really longer) preparing for it to begin. Beyond fliers and events and prep work there is also school visits. I spent 10 days visiting 3 different schools and got to talk to 1477 teens! The first half was spent talking about what my SRP was about, but I also did a lot of book talking (my next post will be about these books). To say that I was exhausted was an understatement. But if I can get even a fraction of those kids to join my numbers will rock (my highest participation total has been 304). A lot of people debate if school visits are really effective. Even I wonder how much pay-off all that work produces. I mean, we do surveys at the end of the summer, but I know only a fraction of those teens fill it out. And I can’t just go by school totals since I talk to 8th graders who would be moving onto high school. So, I’ve always been left wondering if all that time is worth it as far as SRP numbers go.
This year I’m hoping to have an answer. Since my program is online, the teens register themselves. Our system, Evanced, allows me to pick and choose what they have to answer to register. I thought I would be smart and added a “How did you hear about SRP” program, which includes a school visit option. I’m highly excited to see what the outcome will be. At the moment I already have 61 (!!) teens signed up and 11 signed-up because of school visits. That’s roughly 18%. I’m hoping that average will stay around that mark, but we’ll have to see how the summer goes. I’ll be sure to post updates as the summer moves along.
I know I should be posting a review today, but I just had to share my happy news with everyone. If you remember my post about Summer Reading from June, my goal was to get 200 teen participants this summer. Well, I’m happy to report we have at least 225 teens with 3 weeks left to go! AND the teens are not slowing down. We’ve been putting in new participants daily. I registered at least 10 alone yesterday. I’m shocked, but excited to see where my final numbers end up. Of course, the hardest part is that since we’re back to paper logs I don’t have instant stats. A co-worker and myself enter in the information once a week, so most of the time what I have is out of date since we have two locations. I’m very, very stoked to see what my final participation count and pages read total will be at the end of the summer.
OH! And I should say that it’s not just the Reading number that are up. Teen events are sky-rocketing, too. In the past, I’ve been lucky to pull in 8 teens per programs. And that was on a GOOD day. Almost every event has pulled in 15 teens are more! For the month of June alone we had 104 teens come to programs. Seriously, I would say that is a good 30% increase from last year. And my HUGE events, such as pizza tasting, murder mystery and Lock-In are yet to come!
So, um, please excuse me as I do a very, very long happy dance.
Summer Reading officially started for us today! This time of year always excites and exhausts me at the same time. I’m also a little nervous because this is the third year I’ve changed the way we do Summer Reading. Mainly worried that it’ll confuse them and make them not want to do the program. Now granted, besides the first year, they’ve been pretty small changes. Like last year I tried out an online system. Or this year we’ve dropped the reviews that were normally required, which I think will be for the good. I wanted to make Summer Reading a bit more fun so basically all they have to do is read! I’m really hoping it’ll boost my numbers this year. I have 160 teens participate last year and I’m hoping we can reach at least 200 this year! *fingers crossed* (Of course, the fact that I did school visits this year should help, too! I saw 800 kids in a week! WHEW)
Instead of typing up everything we’re doing, I figured I’d post the promo video we have. Much love to Kelly @ Stacked Books for introducing me to Prezi and pushing me to do more. She gave me the inspiration I needed to make this a great promo!
I’ll be giving updates on programs and stats as we go along so be sure to come back and check out how it’s going!