Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vintage Headlines: Disneyland Summer Reading

Here's a fun slice of 1950s pop culture with a Disney spin.

Kids have been nagged about summer reading for decades; in 1956, the librarians of Kern County, California came  up with a clever twist to encourage their young patrons to crack open the books--a Disneyland-themed summer reading program.  The details were provided in this newspaper article from June 14th of that year:
Disneyland has been chosen as the theme for Kern County Free Library summer reading clubs according to Miss Irene Branham, supervisor of work with children.  All elementary school children in the county are eligible to participate in the summer reading program. Registration for the clubs will take place in county branches during June. Children interested in joining a club are urged to sign up now.

By way of books, children joining the Disneyland clubs will visit Disneyland's Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Frontierland. Each child will have a Disneyland map and booklet in which to record his make-believe visits to each land. Reading certificates will be presented to children reaching the goal of 10 books read during the summer.  Disneyland maps and posters donated to the library by Disneyland Inc. will decorate the 35 county branches sponsoring summer reading clubs. Miss Branham emphasizes that this is a pleasure reading program with the double objective of  encouraging leisure time reading and providing the librarian with an opportunity to give reading guidance to young patrons.  The library's vacation loan, allowing children to borrow eight books for a period of six weeks, will enable children to continue reading for the club during the family vacation.  Children and their parents may get further information about the summer reading program by visiting any branch of the Kern County Free Library.


Rich T. said...

Gotta love imaginative educators!

I'd love to see the reading list; I'll bet the selections were well-chosen for the themes!