Summer Reading FAQ

When can my child or teen sign up? Anytime starting Saturday, May 30. Visit your Local Public Library or catch up with the Bookmobile at one of its route stops on this day. If you miss this day, join anytime during the summer — just make sure it’s before the reading program ends.
My child is too young to read by herself. Can he/she still participate? Yes, children as young as birth to age 4 can be read to by adults or older siblings (children). The Read Aloud level is especially for your young child; it comes with a Read Aloud log with 10 pre-literacy activities (talking, singing, reading, writing, playing) that we ask you to do with your child, and requires you mark a box (35 boxes) every time you a book to your child.  We encourage you to read daily!
Why do I have to do all these extra things with my baby/toddler/preschooler? The activities are brain-builders for your young ones and bonding opportunities for the adults in his/her life. If you think you may need extra resources to do the activities and don’t have them at home, please use ours. The library has puzzles, blocks, puppets and many books with children’s songs and nursery rhymes.
How am I supposed to let my baby practice writing or drawing? He/She is only 4 months old, he/she can’t hold any crayons. You’re correct. The activities are meant for a wide range of ages, and there is a lot of difference between an infant and a preschooler. If there’s an activity that your child isn’t physically able or ready to do, feel free to change the activity so it works best for you and your child. For example, in this activity we added have your child “watch you write with crayons or magic markers”, so one could make this writing activity be one in which you are playing “peek-a-boo” with letters. Show your child a blank piece of paper, then let him/her watch as you write his/her name on it. Hold up the paper again with his/her name on it and say his/her name aloud. Flip the paper over to hide the letters (name of your child), then flip it again to show his/her name! Peek-a-boo with letters!
I have a 7 year old — what reading program is there for him/her? We have the Junior Reading Level for children ages 5-9 years; it comes with a Junior Reading Log with options for reading, doing activities or both.
I have a 10 year old — what reading program is there for him/her? We have the Tween Reading Level for youth ages 10-12 years; it comes with a Tween Reading Log which asks the student to read for time; a total of 15 hours. And if they would like to read more, they can!
Both the Junior and Tween Reading Logs want my child to read for time. Does that mean they have to read only books? No. If your child enjoys reading magazines (online or paper), graphic novels and graphic non-fiction, instruction manuals, and newspapers (online or paper) can count time for those too–just be sure to keep track of time spent reading! We also give time credit for listening to audiobooks, viewing the library’s online TumbleBook e-books for kids.
I have a teenager — what reading program is there for him/her? We have the Teen Reading Level for teens ages 13-19 years; it comes with a Teen Reading Log requiring them to read for a total of 28 hours.
The Teen Reading log requires teens to read for time. Does that mean they have to read only books? No. Teens who enjoy reading magazines (online or paper), graphic novels and graphic non-fiction, instruction manuals, and newspapers (online or paper) can count time for those too–just be sure to keep track of time spent reading! We also credit them for listening to audiobooks, e-books, and comics. We want to choose what they would like to read. We know when students read for fun they are building their comprehension skill.
I have a child with special needs — which reading level should they join? Please talk with your Local Public Librarian because we want to help you and your child find the best solution.
Do we have to read library books? We’d prefer you and your child or teen read library books! Yet, we want to encourage reading, so please read what books you & they may have.
We won’t be able to attend the local library events. Can we still participate? Yes, the reading logs are picked up at each library regardless of whether or not you or your children, teens can attend events.
When my child or teen finishes all the requirements of the reading log, what do we do next? Please return the completed reading logs to your local public library where you picked up the log or you may return it to any of the other local public libraries in Lancaster County, or to the Bookmobile.
Will my child or teen earn prizes for reading? Yes, we are extremely fortunate to have many local businesses as sponsors of the countywide summer reading program. See here for list and prize levels.
Why does my child or teen need to be present to claim the prizes? (it reads this on all the reading logs).  Each reading log reads “Participant must be present to claim prizes.” The child or teen are the ones who are doing the work, including the young child in the Read Aloud program. When they receive their prizes it’s important to recognize them personally. We like to make a fuss over them for their pre-literacy and literacy efforts. We like to ask them about their favorite books read, or what they liked best about visiting the library during the summer; we can do that when they collect their prizes themselves. We can celebrate your child or teen’s achievement together.
Why can’t my (3 or 4 year old) child get a Dutch Wonderland ticket? His/her 5 year sister/brother gets one. Or My (3 or 4 year old) can read. Why can’t he/she get a Dutch Wonderland ticket? Dutch Wonderland as a countywide sponsor supports independent reading by children. The tickets are good for 5 year olds because we know that the average age range for children to begin to read independently is between 5 and 7 years old. The minimum age of the reading prize is based upon the earliest average age of independent reading, which is 5 years.
For parents of early readers, we realize there are always some children who can read earlier, some as young as 2 years old. It’s wonderful that your child is already reading! The Preschool Read Aloud Program will give your child a solid foundation upon which when they enter kindergarten they’ll be school ready for more reading and learning. As your child ages, they will build more knowledge about the world through the books and activities you share with them, and look forward to a Dutch Wonderland ticket when they’re five.
My 5 or 6 year old can’t read yet/doesn’t read independently, how are they supposed to read for prizes? For children not yet reading independently, we recommend reading with an adult. Assist your child with reading by taking turns, though you as the adult will do most of the reading. In this “assisted reading” method, use prompts to help your child, such as, beginning to sound out a word, or pointing to letters that may get your child to read the word on their own. During this time, encourage your child to hold the book, be in charge of it, by turning the pages, this book-handling is all part of becoming independent readers. When you do this, just record the assisted reading time the same as you would for a child who reads independently. If you sit down together and it takes you 15 minutes or 20 minutes or 30 minutes to read a Beginner Reader, log that time.
We can’t use all the reading prizes–is it okay to give them away or sell them? Please know that all the summer reading sponsor coupons, passes, tickets, vouchers are Non-transferable, Not for Sale and May Not be PhotocopiedWe take this very seriously. If your child won’t be using the reading prize, simply don’t take it, or return it to the library. We are very thankful for our countywide sponsors and value their continued support.
I’ve heard something about being able to participate in a Pre-Game Ceremony at Lancaster Barnstormers? Yes, if your child or teen has completed the reading program and turned in their reading log for credit, they may place their name into a drawing. The drawing is to choose a child or teen’s name for one of the 3 Summer Reading Game Days (Friday, August 14  or Saturday August 15 or Sunday August 16) that our sponsor Lancaster Barnstormers is having for the countywide summer readers. As the parent or adult caregiver/guardian it is up to you if you want to put your child or teen’s name into the drawing. It’s not mandatory. If you do want your child or teen to have a chance at having their name drawn, then select the Game Day that you are planning to attend, and be sure to include your email address and/or the best phone number that you can be reached at so that a librarian can fill you in with the Pre-Game Ceremony details.
When is the last day to turn in the reading forms for prizes? The Summer Reading Program ends at the end of business hours for local libraries on Saturday, August 8. We regret that completed reading forms returned in library book drops cannot be redeemed. Please check library for hours of operation on Saturday, August 8; OR be sure to return child or student’s completed reading form in before the last day.
My child or teen likes to read a lot — are they allowed to do more than one reading log during the summer? No, we ask that youth who participate and complete the reading requirements only do one reading log during the summer. We encourage those readers that like to finish quickly to pace themselves; and if they do finish early, to keep going back to the library to borrow & read more books and keep attending all the wonderful educational and entertainment events at the local libraries.