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.