Are the coupon books in the same area as the library the kids go to. Last year there were a lot that were only for 1 type of company location a long way from us. Example, a coupon for a free ice cream cone but it's in Alexandria and we live in Herndon. Obviously not helpful to them and they get disappointed. And the expiration dates should be a year as well. Otherwise, we love this program and think it is a great way to keep summer reading going.
Also, there really should be more advertising of this program to get more kids reading. We come across kids all the time who are unaware of this and never read for pleasure, An email to all elementary schools that they could deliver to students and their parents would help.
The sponsors of our coupon book prize represent businesses and organizations throughout our community. Some have multiple locations, some have only a single location. We realize the coupons that are redeemable at multiple locations are especially great for our customers, since our library system covers the entire county from Lorton to Herndon. But we value the single locations as well, since they still offer value to many kids and allow small businesses to support their local library branches’ Summer Reading Program efforts. Also, the single location coupons are spread around the county – Alexandria, Falls Church, Chantilly – so kids in different areas can enjoy some of the coupon offers even if they can’t travel for others.
As for expiration dates, we strive for dates that go until the end of the year or at least in the fall so kids that finish the program at the end of summer will still get value from the prize. But some sponsors are unable to offer fall or winter dates, often due to the seasonal nature of their business (waterpark, etc.).
You also mention advertising – we certainly do our best to promote the Summer Reading Program in various ways – print, online, etc. We send a half-page flyer home with every student that attends Fairfax County elementary schools. And we are always looking for new ways to spread the word. For several years, we’ve produced a fun Public Service Announcement video about the program (viewable on our YouTube page), last year we created colorful “Sign Up Now” banners for each branch, and this year we are planning to advertise on County Connector buses. Keep an eye on them! And tell all your friends about the Summer Reading Program - help us spread the word.
Thanks for your support and the kind words about the Summer Reading Program.
P.S. - Here is a link to the YouTube video (with huge thanks to Channel 16): https://mail.fairfaxcounty.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=XEEGBzM6BU64M1xWbQ8kwfL3o5ciN9AI5QeC-C2mSUD_ctlg4qMJqeBpfh9WwRIJ7tza_-aNPpg.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.youtube.com%2fwatch%3fv%3dWL7mLAm3dvk