NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The new school year may start tomorrow, but that hasn’t stopped the city’s children from reading all summer with the New Brunswick Free Public Library.

The library has just concluded its Summer Reading Program. This year brought in over 500 students from grades K-12, who together completed 4,468 hours of reading in just 6 weeks.

“I truly adore the children of New Brunswick,” says Children’s Librarian Darby Malvey.  “They never stop surprising me with out clever, creative, and independent they are.”

NBFPL Youth Service Librarians were able to visit ten of the twelve New Brunswick Public Schools this spring to inform students of the Summer Reading Program.

According to Malvey, only 69 of the participating students were in grades seven and above.

Students were able to register at any time during the 6-week period.

The Summer Reading Program also consisted of students from neighboring towns, including Franklin and North Brunswick.

“Many of the kids here struggle when it comes to academics, and a lot of kids are reading below their grade level” Malvey explains. “There are a lot of factors that play into that.”

“For most kids, those factors are beyond their control.”

If a child completed a minimum of 30 hours of reading time, then they were invited to attend the annual Summer Reading Fair, held behind the Library building on Saturday, August 17.

Over 175 children and family members joined the library in the end-of-the-program celebration.

This year, the Fair featured a water slide, games, prizes, and arts and crafts along with a barbeque lunch donated by Old Man Rafferty’s.

Among the most popular books this summer were the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, the Percy Jackson series, the Avengers comics, and “surprisingly, Amelia Bedelia seems to be making a comeback.”

Additionallly, the library pioneered a new summer reading program that 43 adults participated in.  The program was open to anyone 18 years of age or older with a library card.  Participants read or listened to books and submitted reviews to be eligible for prizes.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Molly O'Brien is a law student and reporter in the city of New Brunswick.

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Molly O'Brien

Molly O'Brien is a law student and reporter in the city of New Brunswick.