COURTNEY McCLURE, for The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The TD (Toronto Dominion) Summer Reading Club has been running for over 25 years, at the Uxbridge Public Library. The head of Summer Programs Coordinator, Ethan Goldsmith along with his two assistants, Kayla and Morgan, Uxbridge library staff members, run this specific summer reading program. Mr. Goldsmith has run the Uxbridge Library’s summer programs for the past three years. According to Mr. Goldsmith, TD changes the book theme every year. The theme for 2020 is ‘Game On’. This means participants can read anything game or literacy based. A few examples are books about sports and books teaching kids how to play board games. The program, which has been running since July 21st, splits participants into two groups. A morning group starts at 11 a.m. and a second group comes in at 2 p.m.. Families with children who wish to participants in this program can pre-register by emailing the library. The email must state the child’s (or children’s) name, age, and relevant contact information, like a phone number. Participants will also have to choose which time slot they would like to be grouped into, the afternoon or morning group. The program runs Tuesday to Thursday. “The age range is Junior Kindergarten/Senior Kindergarten (JK/SK) to Grade 8,” said Mr. Goldsmith, “However anyone is encouraged to Jump on the TD Summer Reading Club’s Website and track their reading.” Mr. Goldsmith explained that since the program just started recently, they are taking Zoom calls on Thursdays. These Zoom calls are organized by age group and school grade, with kids in JK/SK to Grade 3 (5 to 7 year olds) meet at 11 a.m., and kids in Grade 3 to 8 (8 to 12 year olds) meet at 3 p.m. Each week, on Thursday, participating kids and their parents will be sent a link to said Zoom call for their child’s or children’s specific age group. During the Zoom meetings, the kids play games and the library staff member leads a discussion on any books the kids have read throughout the week. This is the first year they have offered the program on a solely online basis. Before transitioning to online, the program was running inside the library, and they gave participants a “passport” to log the books they were reading. All the program’s contents have moved online this year, including the book log, referred to as a “passport.” If any participants are having trouble deciding what to read, TD’s website has a list of recommended books for kids to read, as well as a “Battle of the Books” section. There is no limit to what books kids are allowed to read for the program. “The choice is completely theirs to what they read!” stated Mr. Goldsmith. The program itself started in 1996 when the Toronto Public Library was sponsored by TD, but it is unknown when the Uxbridge library started running the program. More information regarding TD and the program can be found on their website, tdsummerreadingclub.ca. Aside from multiple summer programs, the Uxbridge Public Library has daily how-to videos posted to their YouTube channel. One video gives step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for the summer reading club on TD’s website. They also have free tween and teen printable bingo sheets available on their website: uxlib.com. According to Mr. Goldsmith, all the programs available at the Uxbridge Public Library this summer are free and can be found through their website or social media.