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Study: Forsyth's library summer reading program boosts confidence

Forsyth County students did more than return to school this August. Some looked forward to going to their classes, where they got to show off their out-of-school reading skills.

Thanks to the Forsyth County Public Library’s Summer Reading Fun program, students who participated in the program returned to school more confident than they were before, according to a recent study by the Public Library Association’s Performance Measurement Task Force.

“[The] results reflect the strength of the library’s collection of materials and programming for children, teens and adults,” Program Manager Laura Bradley said. “The success of our summer reading initiative comes from the hard work of our staff, the dedication of our volunteers and the willingness of our community partners to support and promote the program.”

According to the study, which polled participants’ parents and caregivers, 98 percent reported their child maintained or increased their reading skills, 90 percent reported their child is a more confident reader, 86 percent reported their child reads more often and 89 percent reported their child uses the library more often than before participating in the program.

Close to 5,000 Forsyth patrons registered for the summer reading program, logging more than 57,000 books.

In addition, more than 20,000 patrons attended 379 programs throughout the library branches and outreach events during the summer break.

“Aside from increased confidence and skill in reading, 69 students will also be returning to school with dozens of hours of volunteer service on record,” Bradley said.

Those students contributed more than 2,500 hours of service to helping staff prepare program materi-als, performing puppet shows at programs for children, shelving books and materials and helping pa-trons register for the reading program.

Libraries gave out “thousands” of book prizes to those who met their reading goals, and children, teen and adult grand prize winners won Stars and Strikes baskets, movie baskets and iPad minis, respective-ly.

Bradley said she hopes next year will be as or more successful.

“We’re already looking forward to exciting enhancements to summer reading in 2018,” she said, “where we’ll follow the theme ‘Libraries Rock.’”