We would love to do a summer reading program to go along with

VBS theme Big Apple Adventure.  Is anyone doing anything along this theme?? 



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We are in the planning stages for our summer reading program. Each year we emphasize a topic and wrap our theme around that (missions, last year - Land HO! and this year, bible stories - catchy title to be decided). The kids earn points for the books they read (or have read to them) at home and for attending the Tuesday morning story/craft time. They receive more points for reading the emphasized books and enjoy redeeming the points in our "prize" room.  We run the program for eight weeks starting immediately after our VBS is finished. The crafts relate to the story read during story time on Tuesdays. 

Separate from the library, I am working on decorations for VBS, and we are using the Lifeway Big Apple Adventure. We are in production now with taxies, Statue of Liberties, city skylines and of course apples all over the place!

We are not using the VBS theme for summer reading, but I do have some thoughts that came to mind.

Using the VBS theme, perhaps these ideas can get you started.    Take a taxi trip throughout Manhattan and even the other boroughs using a map of Manhattan or NYC to chart the ride and depending on how many stops you want to make.  The stops can represent how many books read such as 5, 10,15, etc.  Maybe start at Penn Station and end at Grand Central Station (Grand symbolizing the "grand finale" plus train stations as arriving and leaving NYC symbols).  First stop could be Madison Square Gardens just upstairs from Penn Station and no need for a taxi but anyway you get the idea.   Then Lower Manhattan next (Statue of Liberty), then Mid Manhattan (Empire State Building) (Times Square), Upper Manhattan (Central Park), and even to the Bronx (Bronx Zoo) as examples.  (I'd hate to pay this taxi fare!)  Get a map and tourist spots of NYC off the internet and choose your stops.  Use leftover VBS materials and decorations.  AAA books and maps are good sources too. 

 Each participant can represent either a taxi or an apple, your choice, or use the items as wall decorations with their names, or if the map is big enough, the tour by the readers can be charted on the map with their names on either progressing apples or taxis.   Instead of the map, individual sheets of paper shaped like taxis or apples can be given out for the readers to keep personal records of their books read.  In fact, you could incorporate the map, the decorated wall, and the individual records if you want.  Points could be given and/or a celebration at the end of the program using (real) apples and favorite apple recipes.   There are theme materials at some of the trinket supply companies for prizes.  

Hope these ideas can help you get the "train or taxi rolling" to adapt to your church library situation.

Thanks so much for your prompt reply.  This idea is great and will present to committee.

 We usually have 45 to 50 participants in 3 age groups.


We have some other ideas using apples and worms with theme Be A Book Worm.  I love the idea of using real apples and apple recipes.  Thanks again.  Marie

We are also going to use the theme of VBS (Visiting the Big Apple) for our summer book club.  We purchased a bulletin board kit from a local school supply store with 12 places to visit in New York.  We also purchased  packages of yellow cabs for each child joining the club.  We plan to purchase a highway border from the same school supply store and put each child's cab on the highway.  They will advance to the 12 different places in New York.  We are going to have the Empire State Building as the last place to visit.  We usually have a half a dozen children or more who will go through the whole book club and usually start over.  We plan to have  floors in our Empire State Building and they will proceed up each floor according to the number of extra books they read.  We have a Read-To-Me Club which we will use something other than a taxi cab for their age group.   We will probably use apples for our Youth & Adults.  We have a churchwide book club with between 60 to 70 joining.  Some of these replys have given me some good ideas.  Thanks.

Thanks so much for your reply, sounds like great fun.  I'm going to share with our committee.  Thanks again.

Two children's picture books you might be able to use that are set in Brooklyn are : "Dad, Jackie and Me" and "Flying Over Brooklyn". They were written by Myron Uhlberg. They are secular books but they both make great read-alouds.

The first one is great for 4th-6th graders - the story of Jackie Robinson (first black American to play in the regular baseball leagues) as recalled by Myron, who was about 7 when he went to the games at Ebbett's Field (stadium) with his dad, who was deaf.  The book touches on both the racial descrimination Jackie faced and overcame, and the challenges of the deaf father, and his son's relationship with his "handicapped" dad.

The second one is suitable for younger children and features several of Brooklyn's famous landmarks during a dream as Myron flies over them.  Both books feature settings in 1947. You might consider inviting a guest reader - maybe a great-grandfather to read them and tell about his childhood memories: the old radios, cutting out newspaper clippings for a scrapbook, etc. that are featured in the book(s).



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