The Reynolds Family
Igniting a Love of Reading at the Library
Visit the San Carlos Branch Library and you will likely find twelve-year-old David and eight-year-old Jonathan Reynolds sitting next to a tall stack of books, reading voraciously. This appetite for books wasn’t always a part of their routine, though.
Five years ago their mother, Jennifer, began giving their neighbor a ride to the library for her weekly volunteer position.
“Since I home school the boys, I figured it would be just as easy to do our work at the library as at home,” recalls Jennifer. “And I thought it would be a great example for them to see the importance of giving back to the community and helping our neighbor, Nonnie.”
So David and Jonathan accompanied Nonnie to the library, helping with shelving and filing. They also quickly developed a love of reading thanks to the library’s expansive children’s collection and programs like the Summer Reading Program, which offers 12 weeks of educational events and special prizes to encourage children and teens to read.
“The library’s wonderful collection of beginning-level books really is the reason for Jonathan’s early reading abilities.” says Jennifer, who notes Jonathan began reading at age three. “And the Summer Reading Program continues to motivate us all to keep reading and listening to good age-appropriate books.”
Adds David: “I liked studying in the library, but it was hard because I just want to read all the books instead of doing my work!”
Jennifer notes the Summer Reading Program helps the boys keep up with their reading and teaches them about goal setting. Jonathan and David have met their program goals each of the last five years. Thanks to generous support from program underwriters, including San Diego Gas & Electric, Target, San Diego Padres, The Arthur and Jeanette Pratt Memorial Fund and The Thursday Club, the boys earn incentive prizes, including tickets to a Padres game.
“The free program incentives are such a blessing to us,” says Jennifer. “We love that we can go do these free activities together as a family, and also with all of our library friends. It is really such a great experience.”
Jennifer was also inspired to start reading as part of the Adult Summer Reading Program, helping her discover a love of books which she had previously been missing, despite a career as a teacher.
“It is so special to see an entire family make use of the library,” says San Carlos Library Clerk Zelia Thompson. “And we are so grateful for all their volunteer work. The Reynolds have really become a special part of our library community.”
With this new found passion for reading, the Reynolds family continues to look forward to the program each year: “We keep asking our mom, when will the Summer Reading Program start?” says Jonathan with a smile.