52: A Yearlong Reading Journey’: Yolo County’s 52-week reading program

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The program aims to encourage participation in reading, which has many benefits

By SHRADDHA JHINGAN [email protected]

Recently, Yolo County Library launched a program called “52: A Yearlong Reading Journey”. This program encourages people to read more and provides a space for people to get book recommendations and connect with other readers.

According to website“52 is different from other reading programs: it lasts all year round, offers many reading suggestions via prompts and gives you a space to share your favorite books with your community.”

Steve Klein, Library Assistant II at the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch, explained how the idea for the program came about.

“The program is really a successor to our winter reading program,” Klein said via email. “While we were brainstorming, we were very excited about the idea of ​​a year-long program, like GoodReads or Bookriot. ’52: A Yearlong Reading Journey’ was born out of a review of our goals, and this program is all about reading for the love of reading.”

To participate in the program, people can pick up a reading journal at their local branch of the Yolo County Library.

“You can choose one [reading journal] at one of our Yolo County Library branches,” Klein said via email. “We noticed an immediate interest in the reviews posted at reception. You can write prompts (new prompts are revealed at the beginning of each month), register your books, rate them, and give a short description, all in one place. We are happy to see so many book suggestions that the community has shared on 52 shelves.

Alternatively, instead of picking up a reading journal from one of the previous Yolo County Library branches, participants can also use the Beanstack app, the link to which is on the schedule. website.

The goal of the program is to “read as many books as possible in 2022” using the weekly prompts or reading books of the participants’ choice. In order to get monthly invites, participants can email [email protected] “with subject heading: 52.”

Klein explained that rather than achieving a “concrete goal,” the program is designed to be a personal experience for each reader.

“We’ve created weekly prompts, which range from as simple as ‘Read a Comic’ to prompts tied to our existing lineup,” Klein said via email. “But 52 is personal to everyone[…] reader. It’s your journey. You can follow our instructions, suggest your own, or just do your own thing. Although the goal of the program is to read 52 books per year, you also have the option of aiming for that goal entirely.

Once the books are read, they can be saved in the Beanstack app or in the reading log. On the app, readers can choose to do the prompts or not and share if they did something different. Participants can also share their “favorite books” with others by displaying the titles on any display in the libraries.

The Yolo County Library also holds other reading programs throughout the year. One of them is the Summer Reading Program, which takes place from June to August each year and is open to people of all ages. Participants can follow what they read and can win prizes.

“Research indicates that summer reading programs help children and teens maintain and improve their reading skills over the summer, provide a haven for readers in the community, and build enthusiasm for reading,” indicates the description of the program.

In 2021, 2,668 people took part in the Summer Reading Program. A total of 22,008 books were read for a total of 15,517 hours.

Such programs help to encourage reading participation for children and adults, which has many benefits.

Klein explained that such a program primarily attracts the attention of parents who want to help their children read more, which he says can be achieved by modeling “the reading habits you want your children to have, because you you are their first role model, and children naturally want to make fun of what their parents do.

Melissa Hoststeter, a seventh-grade language arts teacher in Springfield, IL and graduate student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, pointed out in a TED Talk the importance of reading and discussed new and more effective ways to teach children to read effectively.

“Yes, children need to read to learn, but adults need to read to live, to participate in society, to be a citizen,” Hoststeter said.

Similarly, in another TED Talk, TED speaker Lisa Bu shared how, when she couldn’t pursue her first career choice, books helped her access a myriad of other information. .

“I turned to books,” Bu said in the TED Talk. “I have satisfied my thirst for parenting advice[…]I found my role model independent woman[…] and learned to be efficient.

Ultimately, these reading programs help children and adults become more engaged in reading and explore the benefits of reading that Wu and Hoststeter talked about.

Additionally, Klein explained that the library recently discussed “reading and fairness.”

“Having the ability, the mental capacity and the time to read a printed book is a privilege,” Klein said via email. “How important is reading to a struggling parent whose priority is to do whatever they can to put food on the table? This parent is looking to their child for the ability to live, to be accepted and to have a better future.

However, Klein clarified that storytelling is not just limited to printed books, but can also be experienced through speaking and listening.

“There is a rich history of oral storytelling that many cultures value as a means of sharing knowledge, and because it is tied to tradition and brings people closer to their heritage, it might be best to change the way we think to what counts as reading,” Klein said via email.

Written by: Shraddha Jhingan — [email protected]

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