The following is written by Alison Aguiar, the Outreach Cooridnator for Books Are Wings. Ali and other Books Are Wings team members recently completed a summer literacy enrichment program with Pawtucket Parks and Recreation at Slater Park summer camp.
Students were provided with two free books each week to build their personal libraries, as well as support from staff with literacy activities, book choice and reading. The camp participated in the pilot of the Books Are Wings Read to 100 Challenge, a program where learners at a site, camp or school challenge each other to collectively read and share about 100 books!
Learners at Slater Park camp met their 100 book goal for the last day of programming, and Books Are Wings and camp participants celebrated with a pizza and reading party!
Shared Ali: "As a brand new addition to the Books Are Wings team, I had the pleasure of working with summer enrichment programs and camps across the state this summer! Our work was to get kids ages 5-12 excited to keep up with reading over the summer and reinforce the importance of literacy. For our Read to 100 challenge, I was able to do weekly programming for learners at Slater Park Camp in Pawtucket. Every week, we would fill up our book table with new and like-new donated books, and each camper could choose two books to take home. For most kids at Slater Park camp, this meant that by the end of the summer they had 12 new books to add to, or start, their own personal library at home!"
"Back at the BAW office, we all agreed that seeing the same enthusiastic faces for six weeks presented itself with a unique opportunity to really connect with and engage these kids. That’s how we came up with the idea for our incentive program: “The Read to 100 Challenge.” One session, halfway through the summer, we presented a poster sized chart to the kids and challenged the whole camp, counselors (high school and college students) included, to collectively read 100 books by the last week of camp. In turn, they would earn a pizza party hosted by BAW!"
"At first, our challenge was met with uncertainty. '..100 books?! That seems like a lot!' I explained that it really meant, that if every camper and counselor read just one book, the challenge would be complete. This was met with enthusiastic cheers and confident cries, 'I can do that!! I can read three books!! That’s easy!!' The BAW team provided the camp with even bigger stacks of their favorite reads, including higher level books for the counselors, and popular picture books for group read alouds. The challenge was on!"
"The next week, we brought back our chart, hoping to fill it at least halfway with books titles the kids had read this summer. As they lined up for the book grab, we encouraged them to share the books they had already read and fill in the chart. It was fun to chat with them and listen to them proudly list the books they’ve read and explain why they loved them so much. By the end of our weekly summer sessions, Slater Park Camp had completed the challenge!"
"Now that summer is nearing its end, BAW is eager to bring the “Read to 100 Challenge” to classrooms this fall. We’ll be working with educators to deliver an incentive that complies with school policies. If you’re an educator and are interested in taking part, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at Also, look for us at back to school events starting this week and we’ll be happy to share more information!"
Email Ali to learn more about our in-school and remote offerings for the coming year: firstname.lastname@example.org