TD Summer Reading Club Officially Begins with Help from Friends
For most kids, Friday, June 26, marked the beginning of summer vacation. It also marked the start of the TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) at Toronto Public Library. To celebrate, we hosted a special Club kick off at Richview Branch. And what would a celebration be without a special guest or two? We were joined by Toronto Mayor John Tory, Blue Jays mascot ACE, author Andrew Larsen, some friends from the TPL Foundation, TD Group and Jays Care Foundation and, most importantly, an enthusiastic group of children ready to join the TDSRC and start their summer right.
When he first approached the podium, Mr. Tory introduced himself and – with a straight face – declared that he was adding two weeks to the school year, effective immediately. We certainly had a very clever crowd in the house because the kids knew he was only joking. Thankfully! Mr. Tory went on to recall that as a child, he visited the library every Saturday for storytime and looks back on the tradition fondly. He also talked to the children about the important role reading plays in their success at school and in their future careers, regardless of what field they choose to enter.
Then, the Mayor – with the help of ACE – made a very special announcement: author, keen reader, father, famed knuckleballer and Toronto Blue Jay #43 R.A. Dickey has come on board as a supporter of summertime reading and the library’s Top Reads for Summertime Play. If you haven’t heard of it, the Top Reads is a list of wonderful books recommended by librarians for children ages 12 years and under. From picture books to chapter books, graphic novels to information books, there’s something on the list for every child.
After TPL Board Chair Ron Carinci officially announced the start of the TD Summer Reading Club, ACE quickly approached the Mayor with a book begging him to read it to the crowd. Who could possibly deny eager Toronto treasures such as ACE and the kids? Mr. Tory pulled up a tiny chair, and read If Kids Ruled the World by Linda Bailey and David Huyck. Seems like an appropriate book for the Mayor to read, don’t you think?
Once the reading wrapped up, Andrew Larsen led the children in an activity which had them become authors themselves. He demonstrated that a piece of paper and an idea can easily become a book. With that invitation, the kids excitedly began creating their own books and talked to Andrew about what it’s like being an author. Two of Andrew’s books, See You Next Year and In the Tree House, are featured on the Top Reads for Summertime Play.
The TD Summer Reading Club launch was a fun and memorable afternoon for everyone, and a great lead into what promises to be a fun, playful summer full of great reads!
If your young reader is looking for a new and special read this summer, be sure to check out the Top Reads for Summertime Play. Keep in mind that the friendly staff at your library branch can also help suggest even more fun books that’ll entertain, inspire, intrigue or inform. Maybe all four!
Have a great summer!