Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Roy L. Williams                               
Director of Public Relations                        
Birmingham Public Library                                          
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                          
CUTLINES: Summer Reading 2017 at Wylam Library -Students from Wylam Elementary study during the Summer Push Reading Program led by Constance Blaylock, a second grade teacher at the school. They're meeting at the Wylam Branch Library on Tuesdays to practice reading skills and prevent “summer slide,” a phenomenon in which students lose knowledge gained during the school year. Blaylock is partnering with Wylam Library and Faith Chapel Christian Center and wants to expand the program to five other libraries across Birmingham. 

Wylam Library, teacher, Faith Chapel Christian Center partner to tackle “Summer Slide”

About the “Summer Reading Push Program”
What: Initiative led by Wylam K-8 teacher Constance Blaylock in partnership with Wylam Library and Faith Chapel Christian Center to prevent “summer slide,” a phenomenon in which students on summer break lose knowledge gained during the school year.
When and where: Tuesdays, 3:30-5 p.m., Wylam Library, 4300 7th Ave. Wylam
For details: Blaylock wants to expand the program to other public libraries across Birmingham. For more information and volunteer opportunities, email You can also call Wylam Library, 205-785-0349, for details on its own 2017 Summer Reading programs.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-A Wylam Elementary School teacher is partnering with a library and church in the Wylam community to ensure her students don’t forget knowledge gained during the past school year while on summer break.

Constance Blaylock, a second-grade teacher at Wylam K-8 School and Birmingham native, has developed what she calls the “Summer Reading Push Program” in partnership with Wylam Branch Library and Faith Chapel Christian Center. Throughout June and July, Blaylock is using her personal time to meet weekly with several students on Tuesdays from 3:30-5 p.m. to allow Wylam K-8 students to increase comprehensive skills through summer reading.

The program is designed to prevent what Blaylock calls “Summer Slide,” a phenomenon in which students lose knowledge gained throughout the school year.

“Because of this fact, I partnered with the local community church (Faith Chapel) and (Wylam) library to give students an avenue to continue learning throughout the summer that was close to their home,” Blaylock said. “The program is designed to teach students how to use their community resources and gain support from their community outside of their local school to enrich their education."

Read more about Blaylock’s Summer Reading Push program, which she says is powered by Faith Chapel Christian Center, at the link below:

Wylam Library Branch Manager Selina Johnson said her library is delighted to partner with Blaylock this summer. The next Summer Reading Push meeting will be Tuesday, June 20, from
3:30-5 p.m.

“Ms. Blaylock has spearheaded an integral summer reading program that fulfills a need for the students,” Johnson said. “The turnout of students has been great. This speaks volumes about the commitment the parents have for making reading and learning a priority.”
Blaylock’s goal is to bridge the gap between the church and community through education across Birmingham. Student registration is currently closed for this summer but Blaylock wants to  to expand and extend the program to other public libraries across Birmingham. For more information and volunteer opportunities, email

Meanwhile, all 19 locations in the Birmingham Public Library system are participating in 2017 Summer Reading, hosting over 500 free programs for kids, teens and adults that promote the joy of reading. BPL 2017 Summer Reading, with a theme of Build a Better World, is made possible, in part, by generous support from the Alabama Power Foundation. The program also received in-kind contributions from Rally's, Barnes & Noble, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the City of Birmingham Department of Division of Youth Services.
Summer Reading prizes will be awarded at each of the Birmingham Public Library's 19 locations. The more books you read between now and Aug. 31, the greater your chances of winning. Register online at or at the following link:

For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 130 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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