Get reading at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney

Sidney Library recommending great reads for summer

The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre kicks off its Rockfish Readers program this summer.

SIDNEY — Summer on Vancouver Island is a magical time for kids; there’s no school, the sun shines and there are tons of outdoor games and activities to participate in. But there is another widely popular activity that kids and parents often overlooked when the weather brightens: reading.

To keep reading at the top of this season’s ‘to do’ list, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre (sponsored in part by Times Colonist’s Raise a Reader program) will be launching its first ever book club on July 1 called Rockfish Readers.

“The idea is to keep kids’ minds active during their break from school by challenging them to finish at least one book per week over the course of seven weeks,” said Christina Smethurst from the SODC. “And why not read about the ocean? If you ask us, it’s a pretty fascinating topic.”

The club (which is free) has three age categories: preschool to kindergarten, six to eight years, and nine to 12 years, each with a list of over 15 ocean-related fiction and non-fiction titles to choose from that have been recommended by the knowledgeable staff at the Sidney North Saanich Library.

In order to keep track of all the great titles they’ve finished, there’s a printable Rockfish Readers Passport available to download from the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre website at

And as if the pure joy of curling up with a good book isn’t enough, there are prizes for completing at least seven books.

Tanner’s Books in Sidney will provide gift certificates to the first 50 children who turn in their completed passports to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre between Sept. 2 and 9.

Kids who complete the passport will also be entered to win the chance to write an article for Seaside Magazine’s Young Readers Book Reviewer’ section.

To sweeten the pot even further, Tanner’s will also be offering 15 per cent off of books from the Rockfish Readers lists to any child who presents their passport in their store this summer. Many titles from the Rockfish Reader list are also available at the Sidney Public library.

For more information, call 250-665-7511.

— Submitted by the SODC