This summer, 40,000 people of all ages attended the programs of the Bucks County Library system, which were made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Fred Beans Automotive Group and Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Approval for the grant was assisted by Representative Marguerite Quinn of the 143rd District.
Even better: Next year the library will make use of a second $50,000 EITC grant from the Fred Beans group to fund another series of summer programs for the kids who are served by the county’s seven branches and eleven community public libraries.
“In past years, the library’s Summer Reading Program has encouraged children to open books and read for fun, and those who participated had an advantage when school began again in the fall,” says Stephanie Deeter, regional manager of the library system. “However, state budget cuts threatened this and other valuable programs and services. Without the financial assistance from Fred Beans, we would not have been able to provide a program of this magnitude to the community.”
The seven-week, drop-in summer reading program, called Dream Big—Read! , ran June 16 to August 4 for children of all ages. It offered a host of age-appropriate activities and incentives to keep young people reading for enjoyment throughout the summer months, including daytime and evening family-friendly entertainment from magicians, butterfly experts and others. More than 11,000 youngsters used the reading logs the library provided; 4,200 attended the special evening programs; more than 40,000 overall participated just in the summer programs, far exceeding the county library system’s record.
Incentives to read included simple “prizes” for turning in a completed reading log during the weeks of the program. Turning in their weekly logs earned children tickets that were put into boxes of entries for drawings at the branches and community libraries at the close of the summer programs, making them eligible for Kindle Fire® e-readers. Eighteen Kindle Fires were given away, one per library.
Grand Prize winner was Aliya Khan of Bensalem, whose name was drawn from the remaining entries by Barbara Beans, Fleet Group manager at Fred Beans Automotive Group. Aliya and her family received a paid adventure vacation at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park in the Poconos that’s reserved just for the Lodge’s guests.
For photos of the library’s summer programs and events and the winners of the drawings, please visit the website.