Jarrettsville Elementary, Fallston Middle and Patterson Mill High schools win trophies for having the most students complete the Harford County Public Library’s summer reading program

Patterson Mill High School receives their First Place Reader’s Trophy. Pictured from left: Mary Hastler, Associate Director HCPL; Audra Caplan, Library Director; Sarah Johnson, Media Center Specialist, Patterson Mill High School and daughter Oona Peterson; Wayne Thibeault, Pricipal, Patterson Mill High School; Claudia Sumler, Public Services Administrator HCPL; Richard Kinard, Library Board member.

From the Harford County Public Library — Jarrettsville Elementary School, Fallston Middle School and Patterson Mill High School are the recipients of the Harford County Public Library (HCPL) 2010 Summer Reading Trophies. The trophies were awarded to the elementary, middle and high school with the highest percentage of students who completed the Make a Splash READ! Summer Reading Program. This summer over 18,000 children and teens registered for the program, an increase of over 700 participants from last year.

“We are committed to providing a Summer Reading Program for the children and teens of Harford County,” stated Audra Caplan, Library Director. “We know that encouraging children to keep reading over the summer gives them a head start going into the school year.”

The results of a recent study done by Dominican University showed that students who participated in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those students who did not participate. In addition, there were additional benefits for students who participated in the public library summer reading program: they did not experience summer reading loss and began the next school year with more confidence.

“Public librarians have been under pressure from federal, state, and private funders to prove that tax dollars spent on summer reading programs yield a valuable return on investment,” said Dr. Susan Roman, dean of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the project administrator for the study. “This study definitively shows that summer reading programs play a significant role in preventing summer reading loss and that public libraries provide an important bridge between academic years. Based on the study’s findings, it is also clear that investing more resources in summer reading programs especially in economically depressed areas can contribute to closing the achievement gap that is plaguing our country.”

Participants completing the HCPL 2010 Summer Reading Program read a total of over 115,000 books which is an increase over last year by more than 4,000 books read. In addition, over 300 middle and high school students contributed over 6,400 hours as Summer Reading Program volunteers.

Support from the local business community continues to enable HCPL to provide incentives to participants for registering and completing the program. Elementary school participants in the Make a Splash READ! program received a free book after reading 10 books. Middle school participants received a free book and high school teens received a Barnes & Noble gift card when they read three books in the Make Waves @ Your Library program.  Incentives were funded by Celebree Learning Centers, HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union, Aberdeen Rotary Club, the Aegis, and the Harford County Public Library Foundation.  The Summer Reading Program ended on August 14th.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland.  The library serves over 200,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000.  Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.