The theme of the 2007 Texas Reading Club is “Sail Away With Books!”  The Spanish translation of the theme is “¡Navega lejos con libros!”  The programs and activities in the manual focus on oceans, lakes, boats, voyages, water sports, pirates, and many related topics.

Goals and Purpose

The goals of the Texas Reading Club are to encourage the children and families of Texas to read for pleasure, to help children maintain and improve their reading skills, to encourage them to become lifelong readers and library users, and to establish reading as a foundation for academic success.

The purpose of this manual is to assist library staff and volunteers who serve young people by suggesting programs and materials that will attract children to the library for enjoyable learning experiences. When all children and families in Texas know that the library is a friendly and welcoming place and have the opportunity to enjoy library materials, programs, and services, we will have achieved our goal.

Research has shown that when children have the freedom to select books that they want to read, they read more. School curriculum frequently demands that students read certain books, and school programs may require that they read books from lists and be tested on those books. Reading for pleasure means having the freedom to read what is pleasing to the reader. Programs like the Texas Reading Club are designed specifically to encourage free-choice reading.

Research also shows that reading during school vacations allows children to maintain and improve reading skills achieved during the academic year. This is especially critical for new readers and for children who have difficulty reading. Children who enjoy regular visits to the library are more likely to continue to be readers and library supporters as adults. In many communities, the library plays an important role by equalizing access to information, technology, creative experiences, and educational and recreational materials for all children and their caregivers. For more information on research related to summer reading and public libraries, consult the section of this manual titled, “Research Related to Summer Reading.”

Using This Manual

The 2007 Texas Reading Club manual is available online at and on CD-ROM. The chapters in this manual are arranged by age level to allow library staff and volunteers to select program ideas that are appropriate for toddlers, preschool children, elementary school children, and young adults. Ideas are also provided for opening and closing celebrations and a family event that includes a variety of ages. A bilingual programs chapter provides ideas for programming for young Spanish-speaking children and their families.

While volunteers and staff new to children’s programming will find all of the information needed to conduct programs in the chapters, more experienced staff may select elements to create their own programs. In most cases, more than enough material is provided for a typical program, allowing the staff and volunteers to select the ideas that best match the community’s interests, resources, and opportunities. Many of the professional resources listed in the programs will have additional ideas not specifically selected.

Each chapter includes a combination of the following components, as appropriate.Bulletin boards, displays, decorations, and nametags Fingerplays, rhymes, and poetry Songs or citations to books and web sites where lyrics and music can be found

  • Riddles and jokes
  • Refreshments
  • Crafts
  • Games and activities
  • Guest speakers and performers
  • Audio recordings, audio books, and films
  • Web-based activities, web sites, and CD-ROMs
  • Reader’s Theater scripts, puppet plays, and stories, or citations to books and web sites where these can be found
  • Professional resources for additional program planning or for library staff to use within a program

Clip Art

Children’s book illustrator, Diane Stanley, created the artwork for the 2007 Texas Reading Club. The clip art is the intellectual property of the artist, Diane Stanley, but Texas libraries have the right to use it to promote the 2007 Texas Reading Club and their libraries in accordance with the "Acceptable Use of Artwork" that is included in this manual. The clip art is available in both the web site and the CD-ROM manual formats. Librarians may enlarge or reduce the art, reverse it, flip it, or crop it, but may not alter it in any other way. Texas libraries may use the clip art for crafts, programs, flyers, decorations, and other library-related materials. For example, use the clip art to create any of the following items:

  • Craft items
  • Bulletin board decorations
  • Tabletop or shelf decorations
  • Program mementos
  • Coloring sheets

Commercial vendors may use the clip art to create incentives and promotional items for Texas libraries but must contact the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for specific guidelines and must agree to honor the artist's copyright.

Theme Songs

Two theme songs are included in this manual: an original song by Lucas Miller and a “piggyback” song by Sally Meyers. Lucas Miller’s song is available as a sound file on the Texas State Library and Archives web site at and is on the CD-ROM of this manual.  A statement of Appropriate Use of Theme Song is also included below. The recording may be used without fee for any non-commercial library use in Texas in accordance with the Appropriate Use of Theme Song.

A Note About Web Sites

Web sites with background information or instructions on program topics or that include additional resources on the program topic are recommended for many of the programs. They are suitable for children or for use by the library staff and volunteers to provide additional activities. Librarians might bookmark those sites intended for children on the library’s computers or display them near the computers. Some web sites are also included in the professional resources sections. These are resources for the library staff and are not likely to be of interest to youngsters. A brief annotation has been provided to help you determine how the site might fit your program.

All of the web sites were active as of January 2007. Sites often change, move, or are removed. It is highly advisable for librarians to view the web sites before directing children to them. If an error message appears, it may be necessary to search for the web page title using a search engine to find the new location of the site. Additionally, you might use a search engine to locate another web site that includes the referenced information. Occasionally, web sites lapse and are taken over by inappropriate content. While the Texas State Library and Archives Commission does everything possible to find more stable sites, and to remove inappropriate sites from the online copy of the Texas Reading Club Manual, it is imperative that library staff view the sites before allowing children to use them to ensure that the content remains suitable.

Web pages included in this manual may contain links to additional web sites that are managed by organizations, companies, or individuals. These sites are not under the control of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Texas State Library is not responsible for the information or links that you may find in them. This manual provides links as a convenience and the presence of the links is not an endorsement of the sites by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011