Elizabeth Davis Middle School (EDMS) is pretty excited about its summer reading program. “Let Me Take a Shelfie,” which includes taking pictures of the...

Elizabeth Davis Middle School (EDMS) is pretty excited about its summer reading program. “Let Me Take a Shelfie,” which includes taking pictures of the reader while doing what? Well, reading of course.

Susan Worsham-Moore and Emily McDaniel, librarians at EDMS, are pretty hyped about the new program. “This is our first big kickoff for the summer reading program,” Worsham-Moore said.

McDaniel shared that the program has a whole new outlook. “They have to take pictures of themselves reading in certain settings,” she said. “Then they have to send them to us all during the summer so they can be eligible to win a prize.”

The kickoff was the first of its kind for EDMS and the library crew. Worsham-Moore is excited that the library could host the kickoff. “The county has given funds for the first time to hold summer reading events and we have had a blast with it,” she said.

“Take a Shelfie” is the program for this summer. Students must take a selfie of themselves reading in 15 of 20 locations. The locations include: by fire, in water, under the stars, in sand, with food, with a friend, in a crowded place, in a quiet place, up high, down low, barefoot, in a small space, at an event, under an umbrella, in a car, in the woods, upside down, with an animal, in a tent, and in a library. They must be reading and include their book in the picture while doing 15 of the 20 events. The students will need to text their shelfies to EDMSLibrary@gmail.com along with their name for credit.

To help facilitate the events EDMS will host two reading events at the school over the summer. Many of the scenarios will be set up at the school so the students can knock out a bunch of the “shelfies” they need to get at once. Students should bring their books and their scavenger bookmarks they’ve been given, and they can receive punches. They can also e-mail their own pictures to the Gmail account above to get credit for their “shelfies.”

The two events are: Tuesday, July 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at EDMS. The theme for this event will be Camping. A second event will be held on Tuesday, August 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at EDMS. There will be a “beach” theme for this event. Public librarians will also attend these events.

Once they complete their 15 scenarios, students are entered in a drawing to win a Fuji Instax Mini 8 Camera with film. One lucky “shelfie” reader will go home with the fun new camera.

The kickoff included book walks, (like a cake walk), making and coloring bookmarks, disc golf, chalk painting, vocabulary charades, water balloon toss, photo booth, sponge toss, and popcorn and snow cones. “Everybody has had a great time here today, it’s been a lot of fun,” Worsham-Moore added. McDaniel noted that the most popular event had been the photo booth. “The kids dress up and hold up signs that say something that goes along with the ‘Take a Shelfie’ theme,” McDaniel said.

The kids seemed to really love the book walk, which was played like musical chairs — when the music stopped and they were on the right circle, they were given a literature question and if they answered right they got to pick a book. There were many smiles at the event.

“We really want to promote reading over the summer and we’re working with the public library to help students keep reading,” said McDaniel. The librarians explained that there are serious losses over the summer break. The concept is called “summer slide” – children can regress in their reading by a “whole reading grade” according to McDaniel if they don’t keep their skills sharp over the summer. The English Department at EDMS got into the game and helps with the summer reading program because they know how important it is to keep those reading skills sharp.

They collected enough money to buy 104 books, about $500 to provide books for students. The English teachers have bake sales and lunches and they sponsor children with their own funds to keep the reading at the forefront of students’ minds. The English department expects at least 41 students will be provided books through their donations.

Worsham-Moore is just so delighted that the county gave funds for the kickoff this year. “This is our first time ever having a reading kickoff,” Worsham-Moore said. “We hope they will keep dedicating funds for this each year so we can help students improve their reading skills.”

The “shelfie” reading incentive runs all summer. All photos and bookmarks must be submitted to the library no later than Friday, September 9, 2016 to be eligible for prizes. Visit libguides.ccpsnet.net/edms for a recap of the program. McDaniel summed up what the librarians hope the summer will be like: “Let me take a shelfie!”