“We were very pleased with student and family participation in Booked for Summer’s inaugural season last year,” said superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas. “This summer, we’ve come up with even more ways to encourage learning outside the classroom.”
The Manchester School District, in partnership with the Manchester City Library, will run a bookmobile this year. Made possible through generous donations from local businesses, community organizations and volunteers, the van will stop at city parks, pools and schools. The five-week schedule will run two sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from July 9 to August 10. Regular stops include Livingston Park, Beech Street School, YMCA of Downtown Manchester, Steven’s Park at Manchester Cal Ripken field, Elmwood Gardens, and Kelley Falls.
The bookmobile will be staffed by MSD educators, city librarians and other community leaders and volunteers. The team will organize read-a-louds and activities for each session. Any child who attends a session with the bookmobile will be given a book. Free food also will be available during every stop. All Manchester children are welcome to attend any scheduled stop.
“We are very excited to add this opportunity for kids to our summer program because it’s such a natural fit for the district,” said Wendy Perron, director of English learner instruction, who was able to secure the van and coordinate the bookmobile planning committee. “There has been a lot of enthusiastic feedback just talking about the concept because it brings back great memories to those of us who remember bookmobiles from our own childhoods.”
The Booked for Summer website provides learning resources, including recommended reading lists by grade level, goal trackers, and event calendars. The information covers pre-k through grade 12.
Current preschool, elementary, and middle school students through grade seven can participate in the Booked for Summer passport program, an ongoing activity in which children can visit various sites around Manchester and get their “passports” stamped for completing a goal.
The district also has coordinated efforts at the high school level. All students entering grades 9 - 12 will be reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass. In addition, each high school’s English department has created a recommended or required reading list for students. They can be found on the Booked for Summer website.
Several public story times throughout the summer will be hosted by the Manchester City Library, Brookside Church, Bishop O’Neil Center, and educators at Stark Park. The full calendar of events is available online.
As they did last year, many community organizations and businesses are helping to promote Booked for Summer. Some have agreed to be passport locations, such as the Millyard Museum, SEE Science Center, Amoskeag Fishwways, Massabesic Audubon, and the Currier Museum of Art. Students and families also can check the Booked for Summer website for information on learning activities and various summer reading reward programs like those sponsored by the Manchester City Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, among others.
“We appreciate when our partners use their influence to support education in Manchester and supplement our efforts,” said Dr. Vargas. “Working together, we can make a greater impact on our students and have a better chance of success in making summer reading a priority.”
Students and families are encouraged to use the #booked4summer hashtag on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share with the community what they’re reading and