Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two sides to everything and it doesn't always end up with a prize in the end.

My daughter loves to read.  I've shared that with y'all multiple times.  They had a summer reading program for our local library system.  It paired up with the local and national park nearby and were promoting exercise for the mind and body.  That's all good.

K read for the entire 108 day run of this program. She read at least 1/2 hour every day.  I didn't have to ask.  She just does it.  Books are friends.  You should see the tears when we have to make room for more!

Knowing that she was the only child in our subsection of the city to complete the 108 days of the reading challenge, we thought her odds might be decent at winning a prize.  She won a prize.  She was delighted!

Besides winning the local library prize, she had received an invitation to go to the grand prize drawing held at the marathon health expo.  Being that it was downtown, parking and all, I asked Hubs to attend with us.  It was the health expo anyhow, so he was thrilled to take a look.  He had just gone to the Arnold Classic this past spring, so he thought it would be along those lines.

The library was giving free parking in their deck two blocks away.  Wonderful!  We'll take it!

We went on in and navigated the blue line course through the vendors and found the library booth.  What I found there kind of made me sad.  The giveaways that they were giving to the visitors were the very prizes that the kids had to work so hard to get through the summer reading program.  It was great that they were giving things.  Wonderful, in fact.  But, when your child reads for 14 or 26 days in a row and gets prizes, then goes and every single child in attendance gets 3 and 4 of each on their pass by the library area, the specialness goes south a bit.

Time came for the Prize Drawing and Celebration.  K chose a seat up front.  They had door prizes, but they were drawing from the library slips that were amassed from the entire library system from the whole summer.  That came up to over 1800 entries.  I whispered to K and told her that my feeling was that each one of those slips were going to be pulled for people who weren't there.  I said that the percentage of people (maybe 30) vs the number of slips in the box just didn't suggest the people being there.

None were.

It came time for the door prizes.  All of the adults in the audience won and none of the small handful of children did.  That's okay.  They don't always have to win.  When it came to one child thinking he won and he didn't and the lady who won kind of climbed over top of him to get her $10 Barnes and Noble gift card that I was stunned.  I would have given that card to the kid.  Not my kid.  I would have given it to the child who honestly thought he won.  (The lady, not the prize guy.)

Hubs walked away stunned.  All of the slips for everyone who completed the library summer reading program were tossed into the same box.  Hubs stated that he thought that since most of the people in attendance were retired and had time to read, the library should have separated the slips of kids vs. adults and given prizes accordingly.

Again, it isn't that we are chaffed that our child didn't win.  We just look at it and know that for kids to do all of that reading, it is generally a bit more difficult than for adults to do it.

As for K, we stopped by on the way home from the health expo and bought sundaes.  Yes, I realize the health expo would have suggested otherwise, but we were celebrating 108 days of reading.  Optional summer reading.  Reading that she loves to do and requires no bribery for, but we just didn't understand why the library handled their celebration and whatnot the way they did.  Reading is its own reward, I agree.  Still, why so much press for something that was so very lame?

What are your thoughts?


Rach said...

I concur. Lame. Very lame. There should be prizes for children and separate drawings for adults. Not very well thought out or done. :o(

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

Our library does kids prizes and adults prizes. You put your slip in the box (kids section) and then all slips are lumped in together from all libraries kids sections (Cuyahoga County... can you imagine how many people that is??). The boys have won a few things, but not every year. They do hand out "prizes" at certain points while reading. Once you get to a certain level of reading you get a prize. I think this summer they got a Chipotle gift card and a rubber water squirter. Our library seems more fair. Kids and adults shouldn't be in the same contest. That's just weird.