The Tyndall Air Force Base library participated in the Department of Defense’s Summer Reading Program June 3 – July 21, 2019.
“The program was open to people of all ages on Tyndall Air Force Base including active duty, reserves, families, civilian employees, and retirees,” said Emily Copeland, 325th Fighter Wing library technician. “The summer reading program is supported by the DoD, so any branch of the military around the world can enjoy it.”
Since Hurricane Michael, hit Tyndall in October 2018, the base has been working to reconstruct infrastructure and improve the quality of life for Airmen and families.
“Because of Hurricane Michael, we decided to approach summer reading a little differently this year,” said Copeland. “Instead of running a more intensive program with weekly events, we encouraged participants to read at their own pace over the months of June and July.”
The participants can win special prizes to encourage them to read more and continue with the program.
“When they met reading goals, they could stop by the circulation desk at their convenience to pick up prizes,” said Copeland. “This approach allowed families that arrived here later in the summer to still take advantage of the program as well as many of our patrons who have more hectic schedules or longer commutes to participate.”
Reading goals established by the program are quantified and tracked via the internet. This accessible approach allowed participants the ability to log their “minutes read” from any location.
“One of the great things about summer reading is that it can occur at any time or place,” said Copeland. “Patrons just need a good book and internet access to log their minutes.”
Having this accessibility makes the program possible worldwide across the DoD, not only for school-aged children, but adolescents and adults as well.
“Studies have shown that the program helps prevent so-called summer slide,” said Copeland. “Students who read at least six books over the summer score higher in reading and math when they return to school. Even adults in the program read more when they can see their total minutes increasing.”
Participants from Tyndall Air Force Base clocked an astonishing amount of hours for the 2019 season.
“Despite a vastly reduced base population, our 82 readers logged an amazing 40,571 minutes,” said Copeland. “We’re grateful to everyone who participated in summer reading and hope to see them all again soon!”
As Tyndall continues to repair after the devastation of Hurricane Michael, Airmen and their families can utilize all available tools, programs and facilities for education, morale, and community as the base of the future is built.