FREDERICTON (GNB) – Results of the province’s 2015 Summer Reading Club Program show young readers recorded the highest total of books read since the inception of the club, reading 320,414 books, magazines or websites, totalling a 9.77 per cent increase over last year.

“The ongoing success of the Summer Reading Club Program is an indication of how we are continuing to encourage children to foster a love for reading through our public libraries,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry. “The program is an important part of our literacy strategy and shows the development of reading skills can be accomplished during the summer months when children are not in school.”

This was the fifth year in a row that the number of books read has increased. In addition, the program enrolled 11,822 children, the highest total in more than a decade. This included three children who registered through the Provincial Talking Books-by-Mail Service – a library service that is available to patrons who self-identify as having a disability that prevents them from reading standard print.

Every year since 1991, children of all ages have been invited to join the free provincial library program during June, July and August. The program encourages reading during the school break.

“Our investment of more than $300,000 in the Summer Reading Club demonstrates our commitment to partnering with our public libraries in developing bright residents and a well-informed workforce that embraces imagination, exploration and learning,” said Landry. “These are crucial characteristics to building a stronger New Brunswick.”

Statistics from the reading program are gathered from the 63 public libraries over the month of September, while the information is collated by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.