Friday, March 4, 2016

Summer Reading Alterna-Prize

At our library, we're all about clearing the clutter and sending home less plastic with kids.  One solution that has worked well for us during the summer reading program is an alternative prize.  We call it a "give back" prize when we talk about it with families, and we explain it like this:

"You could choose an ice cream certificate, or a bowling certificate, or a pass to the pool, or you could choose our Befriend an Animal prize.  When you choose this prize, we take the money we would have spent on a different prize for you, and instead, we send it to the zoo so that the animals can have better habitats and care."

When a child chooses the Befriend an Animal prize, he or she gets a trading card of the animal we're befriending that year (we choose a different one each summer, and we were fortunate to get the trading cards from the zoo), as well as the opportunity to sign a greeting card to the animal.  Of course having a card full of kid signatures to send off to the zoo at the end of the summer is adorable, but it also gives us a really easy way to figure out how many participants chose this prize.  With the card, we send a check. 

Our local zoo has an official Adopt an Animal program, which is how we got started, but if yours doesn't have one in place, it might be worth asking about.  We offer this prize to kids from birth-age 12, but it really has a lot of meaning for 'tweens.  Last year we had over 50 kids choose this prize!



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