An enhancement of the Boundless partnership between Hartford Public Library and Hartford Public Schools boosted participation in summer learning this year in the city by nearly 300%, with more than 1,000 children and teens registering for the program with the library.

The success is an expansion of the existing Boundless partnership that has deepened connections between the city’s schools and with the goal of improving literacy rates for Hartford students and enhanced learning and academic outcomes, explained Denise Martens, Hartford Public Library’s Assistant Director of Youth & Family Services:

“We are thrilled to see this huge increase in the use of HPL resources by the city’s children, teens, and families!” she said. “This is evidence that the Boundless partnership works to support learning in the city during the summer when we know about the impact of ‘the summer slide’ that is now being magnified by the pandemic.”

This year, Hartford Public Schools and the Hartford Public Library collaborated on creating summer reading lists segmented by grade level, with many titles available in both hard copy and digital formats and made easily accessible to students.

Will Bailey, Hartford Public Library Technical Services Director, said the library worked with its vendors during the 2020-2021 school year to grant access to its ebook collections through the school system’s online learning platform, Clever. The BookFlix database of ebooks was extremely popular and resulted in an increase of 50,000 uses throughout the school year.

For summer learning, the library was able to offer a wide variety of reading materials for all grade levels through its Overdrive and Axis 360 platforms, he said.

The theme of this year’s summer learning program was “What Colors Your World?” and a combination of outdoor and online activities were offered, including jewelry making, double Dutch, musical performances and virtual story times.

Students were encouraged to read at least 20 minutes a day and complete bingo cards that included squares like “Read with a friend or relative” or “Read a book with poems” as well as nonreading activities like “Learn a new skill” or “Help a family member” in order to win weekly prizes like books for their own personal collections.

This year’s program began June 21 and concluded August 21. Hartford students returned to school on Monday.

Last year’s virtual program drew about 350 participants, the same as 2019’s in-person program.

Comments are closed.


Encore Search: