Reading program a success

Dear Editor:
The Summer Reading Program at the Jersey City Free Public Library has been a tradition for over 30 years, and it pleases me to report we had another successful one. The 2013 summer reading theme was Dig into Reading for children in grades K-5, and Beneath the Surface for young adults, in grades 6-8 and up. The yearly themes are established by the CSLP – Collaborative Summer Library Program, a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.
This year, 1,225 children participated in all programs, with 612 of them reading a total of 15,797 books during the 2013 Summer Reading Program (SRP). This year’s SRP ran from June 24 to August 16. During this period, children and young adults participated in hundreds of reading, craft, computer, and games sessions, in addition to watching selected movies throughout our nine branches, the Bookmobile, and the Main Library.
In addition, many children, young adults and their parents and guardians attended and enjoyed several performances of magic shows and storytelling sessions that were held in six different locations throughout the library system. We had a special show from Field Station: Dinosaurs at the Bonetti Children’s Room of the Main Library that attracted a huge crowd of different ages. The attendants estimated their audience at about 200 individuals. We took many children and young adults on two field trips, as creation and education come hand-in-hand. We took over 60 young adults to Funplex in East Hanover, New Jersey, where they had a day full of different recreational activities and games. We took about 100 youngsters to Camp Liberty right here in Jersey City, where they swam, played, interacted with each other and enjoyed a camp setting.
I would like to thank all Library SRP committee members for their continuous enthusiasm, caring, and hard work. I would like to thank our supporters for helping the Jersey City Free Public Library continue to provide such programs and activities during the summer. On behalf of the SRP 2013 Committee, Library Director Priscilla Gardner, and Library Board President Sondra E. Buesing Riley and the entire Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Ms. Kellee Davis of Capital One for her initiative and help. Really, a big thank you goes to Capital One Bank for their donation of $3,000.00, which was divided equally between the Summer Reading Program and the Miller Branch Library Teen Center. Capital One has supported us in the past and continues to support us, which is greatly appreciated. Many thanks also go to Freeholder Bill O’Dea for his assistance providing free county buses for the trips, Field Station: Dinosaurs, for their free dinosaur show, and Carmine Tabone and his team for the discount and accommodation at Camp Liberty.

Sincerely yours,
Hussein Odeh
Chief Librarian, SRP 2013

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