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Cover to cover, a good summer

Summer is often the time for travelling, whether to visit relatives, camp in the outdoors, or head abroad.
As the TD Summer Reading Club comes to a close, these four young readers were the lucky winners of North Battleford Library's prize draw. From left to right: Gabrielle Delacruz, 7, Mia Sieben, 6, Skyler York, 9, and Zachary York, 11.

Summer is often the time for travelling, whether to visit relatives, camp in the outdoors, or head abroad. However, the 211 children who participated in the TD Summer Reading Club discovered the most exciting travels can be found between the covers of a book.

Over the summer, they read a total of 3,040 books, journeying to Oz, down the rabbit hole, into the jungle with Mowgli, over to Pooh corner and back home in time for dinner.

Linda Peterson, children's librarian at the North Battleford Library, said reading over the summer months is important in reducing summer learning loss.

"It's good to practice their literary skills throughout the summer," said Peterson.

Events were held weekly, including a concert in the park, a Jungle Safari and a Kookie Karnival.

"We try to have a variety of activities to keep them interested in reading," said Peterson.

To wrap up the event, a draw was held, with prizes being awarded to Mia Sieben, 6, Gabrielle Delacruz, 7, Skyler York, 9, and Zachary York, 11.

Mia was proud of the number of books she'd read.

"I'm thinking almost 50," she said.

Her favourite book was about a girl who carved things - unfortunately, it gave Mia some ideas and she took a hammer and screwdriver to the dining room table.

Her parents? "Not so happy," said Mia.

Gabrielle said she really enjoys reading fairy tales and her favourite book this summer was The Princess Who Had Almost Everything, about a princess whose parents give her everything her heart desires, but nothing is good enough for her. Finally, she meets a prince who shows her how to use her imagination with a simple box of paper, and they live happily ever after.

Brothers Zachary and Skyler are new to the Battlefords, having moved from Lethbridge earlier this summer. Skyler's favourite book this summer was Dr. Seuss's If I Ran the Circus, so hopefully he'll find a wonderful spot in a vacant lot, just perfect for his circus plans once he cleans up all the cans.

Zachary, meanwhile, delved into some classic Hardy Boys mysteries, perfect for the sleuth in every young man.

All in all, Peterson said "it was quite a successful program. Everyone enjoyed it."

Although individual libraries come up with activities and events on their own, the TD Summer Reading Club is funded by the TD Bank Financial Group, and provides every child under 12 who joins the national club with a poster, stickers and an activity book.

The club was started by the Toronto Public Library in 1994, spread throughout Ontario, and went national in 2004, after Library and Archives Canada came on board.

The club features a different theme every year; this year the theme was Destination Jungle.

Since 2007, the TD Summer Reading Club awards libraries demonstrating innovation in promoting and delivering the program and related activities. Every year, $5,000 is awarded for first place and $2,000 for second place in both language categories, with the funds to be invested in the library.

Even though the summer reading program has ended, the North Battleford Library has a number of events lined up for the fall, including movies every other Saturday, author readings, a toddler activity group and more. For more information, drop by the library or visit them online at

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