For many kids, summer means taking a break from books and reading. It’s a trend teachers and librarians have been trying to buck since your great-great-grandparents were in primary school. But today, more and more youngsters are taking it upon themselves to share their love of reading with their peers.
Whether through a summer reading challenge or by setting up a “little library”, kids and parents are finding new ways to make books part of their summertime schedule.
Now a 10-year-old from North Texas has taken things a step further by opening her very own library. No, not the small boxes you’ve seen popping up in front of homes across America. Penelope Droege and her family have dedicated their entire garage to sharing their love of books with the entire community. What began as a way to keep Penelope busy for the break has now blossomed into what now seems like a full-time job for the soon-to-be fifth grader. “I was trying to find a job to do over the summer and I was thinking of dog walking, but we don’t even walk our own dog,” Penelope said. So Penelope, along with her mother, decided to open up their very own Summer Garage Library.
There’s no digital check-out. No online catalog. Just shelves and shelves of books that can be signed out via the old card-in-pocket method, with borrowers given two weeks to bring them back.
“We’re just trying to get people to read over the summer. So we have a bunch of our books from our house and our dad’s classroom,” Penelope told NBC’s Dallas Fort Worth affiliate.
Penelope’s father, Brian Droege, is a fourth-grade teacher at Kay Granger Elementary School. He says beyond supplying kids with books, his hope is for families to learn about other programs available in the community as well. “The libraries have summer reading programs and a lot of the book stores have summer reading programs. So we want to get them those materials so that they can log their reading.” While the father and educator is excited to get kids reading, he says it’s the longterm impact that matters most. “I think the biggest part for me is that you’re creating life-long learners. That’s even when you get out of school that you should be reading and curious.”
So between soccer practice and trips to the beach, remember to get your kids reading – and most importantly: don’t forget to pick up a little something for yourself.