Librarian Secrets: Avoiding the Summer Slide

Did you know that many students lose academic gains from the previous year during the summer? It’s called “the summer slide”. At Bay County Library System, we have several resources to help your child stay on track to succeed in the next school year. For more assistance with any of these items, please contact your local branch.

Summer Reading Program:

Summer Reading Program is our annual reading incentive program. Children can earn prizes simply by logging their reading. After reading 8 hours (or 24 titles, you pick which to track!), kids have finished the program and have earned our awesome summer reading program prizes! They will receive coupons for a free ice cream cone at any Bay County McDonald’s, a cookie from participating Subway restaurants, and a free round of mini-golf at Dutch Village. Even better, they will also get to pick out their very own book to keep from a selection of titles hand-picked by our children’s librarians. But hurry! The deadline for returning logs for prizes is Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 5 pm.

Technology and Digital Resources: 

  • Launchpads (circulating tablets): Launchpads are circulating tablets that come pre-loaded with educational apps for kids. Wi-fi is not needed! Perfect for car trips or rainy days. We have Launchpads for children from preschool age to the end of elementary school. Limit: 1 per card. Launchpads are now available at all four BCLS branches.
  • Online databases: Available statewide, Michigan’s Electronic Library (better known as has just launched a new Curriculum Resources page packed with subject and grade specific resources for Michigan students.
  • STEAM Kits (at Sage Library): Explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math with our kits!  Kits include educational and fun toys on topics like robotics, dinosaurs, and sound. Age ranges vary. Contact the Sage Library with any questions. Limit: 1 STEAM kit per card. STEAM Kits can be delivered to any of our branches by request.

Print Materials: 

Each of our branches has a Parent/Teacher collection with useful titles for elementary age students. Of particular interest is the book series Summer Bridge Activities which are specifically designed to help learners continue and grow academic skills over the summer. A collection of Summer Bridge Activities books is available in Wirt Library’s Parent/Teacher collection with the call number 372.41 Summer. 

In addition, we also offer a wide selection of reading materials for all ages. New this year is an Early Chapter Book collection at all of our branches. These collections are aimed at readers at approximately 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels. We hope that you will find having these books shelved together in an Early Chapter Book collection will make browsing with beginning chapter book readers easier and more convenient, particularly in light of Michigan’s new 3rd Grade Reading Law.

Anne Clark is the Children’s Coordinator for the Bay County Library System and the mom of two young children.

For more Librarian Secrets click HERE!