FREDERICTON (GNB) – Staff and patrons of public libraries will be celebrating the start of the Summer Reading Club throughout the month of June by hosting launches in their respective communities.

“The Summer Reading Club launch is an exciting way to kick off the summer break,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr. “The program helps children become better readers while having fun and ensures that the valuable literacy skills they have developed through the school year are not lost.”

During June, July and August, children of all ages are invited to join the free library program that encourages reading. This year, the theme for the annual program is water, and the slogan is Dive In!

Participants are invited to immerse themselves in all things water-related and to read about the many connections they have to New Brunswick waterways. Whether they are learning about the highest tides in the world, the people who make their living off the water, or the creatures that live in our oceans, rivers and lakes, children will discover the great impact that water has on their lives.

The program traditionally enrols more than 10,000 young people who read more than 200,000 books every summer. This year the department invested more than $325,000 in the initiative.

“The provincial government supports the Summer Reading Club each year because the program draws young people together, and helps enhance their literacy skills,” said Carr. “The ability to read is one of the most fundamental skills children need to develop to ensure success later in life. We invest in the program because we believe in its importance.”

The program creates 75 positions for university or college students who serve as activity leaders. These jobs provide support to the club and are intended to give young workers skills and work experience to be successful in the labour market in the future.

Registration for the Summer Reading Club is now open at all public library locations, including bookmobiles. For the first time this year, children will also be able to register from home using an online registration form that can be found on the club website. The site also includes games, suggested reading lists and a secret mission challenge.

More information about the Summer Reading Club launch in the various communities is available at local public libraries or bookmobiles. Contact information can be found on the New Brunswick Public Library Service website.