The great news is that HPL patrons are avid readers - voracious even! Over the past 3 years, we have concentrated on increasing the number of children who finish the reading program. We are definitely headed toward our goal of having nearly every child complete the 10-books-or-10-hours requirement. Here's what happened this year:
- 1,092 - Number of children registered for the program
- 581 - Number of children who turned in completed reading logs
- 1,460 - Number of children attending summer story times
- 440 - Number of children attending the 4 craft days (average 110 per event)
- 120 - Number of Young Adults "Questing for Read-a-lot"
What can we take from this? The main thing is that children in Hutchinson and Reno County read well over 5,810 books or hours during June and July. I think that's pretty fantastic! We've achieved an increase in completion rates of more than 6% over last year - that's also pretty fantastic.
Children need to read - we need to make sure they learn to love reading. It helps in every aspect of their educational lives and provides an avenue to relaxation that can be a life-long pursuit. The fact of the matter is that modern technology is changing the way we learn and the unknown is whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Numerous studies and books have been conducted and written on the effects of the Internet on our attention spans (overview article here). It is important, in my opinion, to re-enforce deep, critical thinking skills and reading whole books can help this.