Author Archives: Cynthia Ford

Professional Development with the Space Centre!

What a wonderful time we had with HR MacMillan Space Centre Astronomer, Rachel Wang, and Program Coordinator, Trish Pattison at the BC SRC Professional Development session!

If you were unable to attend, here is the recording. Enjoy!


Some Fun Things to Share!

Trish’s Slides (including the ones with the space food!) Lib Talk Trish
Also, here’s a link to the Astronaut Patches Trish was talking about. What a great idea for a program! Canadian Astronaut Mission & Personal Patches

Rachel’s Slides (including the one with the math!)
BC SRC Pro-D Session - The Universe (May 20)


BC SRC Online Registration Site Preview

Hi Everyone — we wanted to give you a preview you of the new BC SRC Online Registration Site. Due to Covid-19, we have been working to create a way for BC kids to participate in the BC Summer Reading Club, even if they are not able to get to their library. As you know, the timeline has been incredibly tight! Here are some screen shots of the wireframes from the designer, and while there may be some slight changes as we move through development, these should give you a good sense of how things will work.

Here’s a 10 minute-video walkthrough:

Here’s a PDF of the slides. Review

Here’s a PDF to share with kids/schools on How to Register Online BC Summer Reading Club - How to Register Online for Kids

BC SRC Professional Development Session, May 20th, 3:00-3:45 pm

Earlier this year we partnered with the H.R. McMillan Space Centre in order to better “Explore Our Universe”! Of course, BC libraries and the Space Centre are now currently closed due to Covid-19. We are delighted to tell you that we are still going forward with the BC SRC Professional Development Session. It will be held on May 20 from 3:00-3:45 PM via Zoom.

This event is FREE but registration is limited and required. You will be provided with a password once you register. If you are unable to attend the event in real time, please register anyway, and we will happily send you a link to the recording afterwards. Only registered attendees will receive a certificate of completion from the BCLA Professional Development Institute.

For more information, email

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

BC SRC Professional Development Session, May 20th, 3:00-3:45 pm

Take a trip beyond our Solar System and “Explore Our Universe”! Join us on May 20th, from 3:00-3:45 PM for a professional development session unlike any other. Meet Astronomer, Rachel Wang, and learn about all things space science and astronomy related! Space Centre Programs Coordinator, Trish Pattison, will also show us some easy-to-present astronomy demonstrations. You’ll leave equipped with information to support your summer reading club members! (And be able to confidently answer the question: “Is Pluto still a planet?”)

For more information, email

Webinar Speakers

Rachel Wang is the astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and recent UBC graduate in physics and astronomy. Her formal role is being the content knowledge expert, while also striving to educate and inspire students of all ages that walk through the space centre’s doors. At UBC, she researched blazars using the UBC CTIO telescope in Chile and completed her undergraduate thesis on ultra-cold neutrons at TRIUMF. In her spare time, she dreams of discovering what dark matter is made of and becoming a CSA astronaut.



Trish Pattison is a programs coordinator at the HR MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC.  Trish has worked in education for the past 14 years. Her focus for the last 4 years has been expanding STEM education in Northern BC.  Having grown up in a small community in British Columbia, Trish is passionate about bringing new and unique educational opportunities to remote areas in the province.

Hold the date! Ask an Astronomer

Coming this summer, Astronomer Rachel Wang, will be on hand to answer space questions for your summer readers! More details to come but for now these are the dates:

Wednesday, July 15 2:30-3:00 pm

Wednesday, August 12 2:30-3:00 pm

Do your summer reading club members have questions about space science and astronomy? Are they interested in meeting a real live astronomer?! On July 15 and then again on August 12, BC libraries will be invited to a real-time online session where kids can connect with Space Centre staff. During this free event, kids will learn what to look for in our summer nighttime sky! Find out about the newest exoplanet! Learn what would happen if they fell into a black hole!

More details and login instructions to come. In the meantime, mark your calendars and start collecting those space questions. Here’s our list so far, from a group of 7-8 year olds:

  • Is the black hole black?
  • Why does space have so many planets?
  • How may stars are in the Universe?
  • How do stars glow?
  • What do stars eat?
  • How many black holes are there?
  • How hot is the sun?
  • Why is there such a thing as space?

Looking forward to “seeing” many of you on May 20th! Stay well!

Fond SRC Memories

Thank you to the Committee for all your work to make the BC SRC happen, even in these uncertain times. I think many parents and kids will look forward to the programming over the summer, regardless of format. With a little extra time on our hands over the weekends we have been doing a lot of cleaning up of our garage, etc., and I came across an old box of things my mother had kept from my childhood. In it I found some old SRC memorabilia: Two Pogs, circa 1995 (they were big when I was a child), and a button, probably also from around that time. As a child I participated in SRC at my local library and I still have fond memories.

Best regards, Roen (Janyk)

BC SRC 2020 Animated!

The BC SRC is thrilled to present… Explore Our Universe: the Animated Short!

When you combine the talents of Shayne Letain (our animator, and web designer for and Bambi Edlund (our amazing 2020 SRC Artist), the result is utterly delightful!

We figured everyone could probably use a little something-delightful right now so we worked extra hard to make this video available extra early.

Enjoy and please feel free to share!

You may also find the video at

BC SRC and Covid-19

Dear All  — we are deeply aware of the evolving situation with Covid-19 and its potential impact on the 2020 BC SRC.

    At this time, we are continuing with the production of our Core Print Materials, recognizing that the SRC runs all summer long, and that current closures and extraordinary safety measures will most likely be temporary.
    We will also be exploring options for expanding the online aspects of the SRC program, as always with the intention of increasing accessibility.
    Things are changing rapidly and we will continue to assess other elements of the program. Our plan at this time is to wait ten days before making any decisions. Hopefully, by then we will all have a better sense of the reach of closures and can proceed accordingly, and safely. If you have already ordered any T-shirts or tattoos, and we do end up needing to cancel the order, your money will be refunded.

      As many libraries proceed to close for the next few weeks, and regular means of communication may be impacted, please note that we will post any updates to the SRC blog as well as on Twitter.

        As always, please don’t hesitate to email me ( with any questions. I will do my best to answer them. 🙂

          Stay well!

            best, Cynthia

Increasing Inclusion and Accessibility

The BC SRC welcomes the participation of all children and their families and we continue to seek ways to provide an accessible and fully inclusive program:

  • Core Print Materials are produced with a minimum of text in order to support the participation of children of any language and any reading ability.
  • video in ASL (American Sign Language) with English subtitles, on both staff and kids’ websites, welcomes children with hearing impairment to the BC SRC.
  • Annotated book lists are produced each year, indicating titles available in audio formats (commercially, and through NNELS and CELA), making it convenient for anyone with a perceptual or print impairment to find theme-related titles to listen to.
  • Each year the Program Manual is reviewed by Dr. Tess Prendergast (Inclusive Early Literacy) to ensure programs and activities include adaptations for different needs. With the assistance of Dr. Prendergast, general guidelines for Summer Programming Staff, on how to increase inclusion, are provided as part of the Program Manual (Please see below for more details)
  • in consultation with Dr. Carole Ford (Co-Director for Davis Learning Strategies, The Whole Dyslexic Society), dyslexia-friendly adaptions were made to print materials and supplemental Resources.
  • A “Caregiver Page” provides general information on the program, as well as explanations on how to join the program. Currently, it is available in French and English, with information available in multiple languages in 2020. NOTE: This page also provides a dropdown menu with links to BC libraries, making it easy for families to find a library in their community!
  • Customizable “Parent Letters” are available on the staff site for libraries to download and send to their local schools. These letters include language that explicitly supports children reading in whatever language they feel most comfortable. As well, the letters specifically express support for cultures that emphasize oral storytelling.
  • Support materials are available for parents and librarians, including The Value of Summer Reading, (available in nearly 40 languages). The staff site also includes a Google translate plug-in so visitors can readily translate any page.

A special thanks to our Consultant, Dr. Tess Prendergast  (Inclusive Early Literacy) who reviewed the 2020 Manual and offered ideas and suggestions to increase the accessibility and inclusion of the programs and activities. In addition, Dr. Prendergast, provided us with some excellent general guidelines: 

  • Be aware that your audience will always include children of varying abilities.
  • Recognize that it is the responsibility of each facilitator to make adjustments and accommodations to best suit the needs of their participants.
  • Ensure all program promotions make it clear that these programs are welcoming and inclusive, and that program content should be adaptable.
  • Feel comfortable to mix ’n match activities based on the needs and abilities of the children participating.
  • Let Summer Students and/or Volunteers know it’s OK to adapt a program/activity.
  • Make sure your room set-up allows space for kids using wheelchairs and walkers
  • When possible, include (good!) books that feature children of different abilities and backgrounds.
  • Normalize accommodations and/or participation of a child’s caregiver with phrases such as “You can do this activity by yourself or with a partner”.
  • If an activity includes the use of plants (or a substance that may cause an allergic reaction), you may wish to include this info ahead of time to give people advance notice 

Resources for Your Outreach and Promotion

We have an abundance of resources for you to use for your own promotion in the aptly named Resources section! ( > Resources). Here you’ll find images, icons, this year’s logo and font, report card stuffers in French and English…with new items appearing daily!

There are four sections:

  1. PROMOTION & OUTREACH: GRAPHICS (includes logos, theme title, images, etc)
  2. PROMOTION & OUTREACH: DOCUMENTS (includes parent and school letters, report card stuffers, PSAs, etc.)
  3. PROGRAM MANUAL (includes Family Storytimes, School-Age Programs and Activities. )
  4. SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTATION (includes, supplemental, read-to-me and print-on-demand reading records, certificates of completion, colouring sheets, DIY t-shirt images, etc.)

Take a look around and let us know if there is something else you’d like to see there!

Thank You to Our Funders !

The British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) is pleased and honoured to announce our second year partnering with CUPE BC. CUPE BC has given $50,000 to ensure that the BC Summer Reading Club continues to award medals to children across the Province who participate in this successful, inclusive and much loved program. 
 With this contribution, CUPE BC ensures that children and families across the province will continue to see a high level of programming and participation including the exciting awards ceremonies that many BC public libraries mount at the end of the summer. CUPE BC’s contribution allows BCLA to continue this quality program at the high standards that libraries across the province expect. CUPE BC’s logo appears on the BC SRC medal.  
The BC SRC  gratefully acknowledges the continued financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Education. 
Be sure to recognize our funders in your SRC promotional materials and advertisements. Thanks to their support, public libraries throughout the province are able to reach over 173,000 children with the BC SRC. Please consider inviting local politicians, CUPE BC representatives, and members of your Library Board to medal ceremonies and other events. Let them know their support is greatly appreciated!

Explore Our Universe! Description of 2020 Materials 

The Artist

Filled with delightful humour and invention, colour, and energy, this year’s artwork is by Bambi Edlund. This self-taught artist, designer, needle-felted sculptor, and stop motion animator, has been the Art Director for Edible Vancouver since 2008. She illustrated the picture book What a Waste: Where Does Garbage Go? (Annick Press, 2017), and is currently at work on a proposal for Kids Can Press. To learn more about Bambi and her work, please visit ( Bambi is available for library visits and may be reached at


 The Poster

A delightful fleet of spacecraft, piloted by all kinds of critters —  from cats and turtles to dogs and fish — invite us to Explore Our Universe. As they navigate amongst the planets and stars, it is obvious that adventure, discovery and friendships await our space explorers! Keen eyes will delight in noticing how the space ships reflect the pilots: cats in a cat-shaped ship, turtles in a turtle-shaped ship, mice in a… a cheese-shaped ship! 😀


New & Improved! More flexible!  Reading Record 

Last winter we asked our Content Creators and their teams for feedback on the Reading Records. While many people loved the “classic” reading log, many also expressed a desire for something more flexible, less daunting for reluctant readers. With all this in mind, TheCore Committee worked to develop a new layout that honours the best of both worlds while continuing to provide maximumaccessibility. We are delighted to be able to have this more flexible reading record available for this summer!

Across the top of each panel there is a bar with 7 circles. These can be checked off, coloured, or disregarded, depending on thereading goals of each child. Also on each panel there is a large box with the words: “I read…” at the top (in English & French)and the words: “Write or draw.” at the bottom (in English & French). This provides enough room for kids to :
  • list books (classic-style!)
  • enter a single title (especially if they are reading longer books)
  • write or draw a picture related to a title they enjoyed
  • write a book review
  • make a diary entry
We look forward to hearing what you and your summer readers think!

The Stickers 

Inside the reading record, an interstellar, interspecies gathering is happening! Along the panel there is room  for 8 stickers, each of which completes one of Bambi’s delightful characters. You may use the 8th sticker in any way that works for your patrons (e.g. to “launch” or  “complete” your SRC,  to acknowledge a special reading accomplishment.)


PLEASE NOTE: each library is intentionally provided with an additional 5 % of stickers. This allows you to give them freely to visiting children and not have to worry about running out!

Activity Card:  Mission Control Trading Cards! 
This year’s bonus Activity Card is a pair of stunning “Mission Control” Trading Cards featuring historic events in space exploration. There are four different Activity Cards, each with 2 different Historic Event cards. Kids can trade ‘em, collect ’em, play card toss games with ‘em, find out more about the historic space exploration events described!

In addition a full Trading Card Game called “Mission Control” will be available from the websites for libraries and kids to purchase and/or download (More to come soon!)

As always, Activity Cards may be used in any way that best suits your community — handed out to each child who participates, given out as prizes for programs or community events, or used as part of a self-directed program activity (e.g. finding out more about the historic events on the cards!).

NOTE: the paper used to print the Activity Cards is “extra” space on the press sheets. Rather than let it go to waste, each year we strive to create an additional bonus activity for kids to enjoy.

T-shirts and Tattoos and Medals

As part of our ongoing effort to streamline the BC SRC program, this year we are working with Fairware to produce t-shirts and tattoos. This should significantly improve production and delivery for our novelty items (t-shirts and tattoos) as well as ensure we are working with a company that is serious about sustainability.

This year’s t-shirt colour is purple, providing a fantastic backdrop for interstellar activity! T-shirts come in Adult, “Ladies”, and Youth styles. All t-shirts are 100% cotton.

Tattoos come in a “bundle” of 200. Each bundle includes 100 tattoos x 2 designs. Please note this is a slightly different quantity than in previous years. Many of you had asked for smaller bundles. We are happy to tell you we were able to reduce the bundles from 250 to 200 while retaining two tattoos designs.


The ribbon colour for this year’s medal is gold.