...Readers! Yes, it is summer reading time at the library. My kids have participated since they were babies and it is always a treat to see them at their "ceremony."
At our library, rather than choosing X number of book to read, you are asked to commit to reading for at least ten minutes a day. Then you get a reading log and a sheet of stickers, the stickers representing a day's reading. Of course, our stickers had to go into one of the special cabinets high, high up or they would have ended up on the floor, the brother, the toilet, you name it, on the very first day. So periodically throughout the summer I have retrieved the reading log and stickers from their hide-y hole and estimated the number of stickers the kids get to put on. It was pretty funny watching my determined daughter carefully select just the right little bubble to place her sticker while my son kept getting his stuck to the table or his fingers. Last week I was heading to the library where I work and decided it was time to "complete" summer reading. So I got out the logs and let the kiddos have at it attaching the remaining stickers to the remaining bubbles. We were curiously short a few stickers but oh well. And no, I have not been counting the number of minutes we have read each day. They're two and three, we read every day, enough said!
So off to the library we go! They each handed the librarian their little reading logs and stood proudly (and maybe a little confusedly) as she played the special music and announced to the building that they had "succeeded" in completing their reading goal. Then, it was the receiving of medals with the entire library cheering. Over the top? Absolutely! But to see the look on their faces as they get their medals is priceless.
I am not one of those people who thinks we should coddle our children or have them exist in a world where they get a trophy just for showing up. But the library, well that's a different kind of place. A place where you should be welcomed with a smile and allowed to be your own individual. Where it is important to read what you choose. I love that there is a place that rewards children just for showing up, for trying and finishing something they started. There are no tests, no points, no value added to particular selections, just a congratulations on finishing what you started. I think it lays a good foundation for the later years, start small and build up!