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Summer Reading Challenge 2021: Reading Colors Your World

Sunday April 4th, 2021


The much-welcome warmer days signal that it is time to kick-off The Library’s Summer Reading Challenge 2021! In keeping with the “Reading Colors Your World” theme, it is easier than ever for participants to decide their own path.

“It’s a ‘choose your own adventure’ reading challenge,” says Youth Services Administrator Hannah Killian. “You earn points by however you choose to log your reading, to make reading fit more perfectly into your summer lifestyle.”

The Library settled the eternal tug-of-war between people who prefer to log their reading by books or by minutes. The answer is – drumroll, please – you can choose either one and still earn your points!

Reward points are earned by tracking your reading, writing reviews, or joining activities. Whether you’re a parent encouraging your child to read or an adult diving into the latest thriller or biography, you’re sure to find a fun way to make reading even more rewarding.

If you choose to track minutes read this summer, the Beanstack Tracker app (Android | Apple) offers a timer for easy tracking. Adults can count the time they spend reading with their children and grandchildren toward their own totals. It’s a flexible, simple way to make your summer reading count.

Also new this year – make your summer reading social. Beanstack now features ways to add friends and amp up the friendly competition by tracking your reading on leaderboards.

“It might be kind of cool for adults to have a little spirit of competition,” says Killian. “Adults are great participants of the Summer Reading Challenge every year. They’re usually the second-biggest group, after the kids.”

Summer Reading Challenge is open to all ages, from infants to adults. Everyone earns points for reading and writing reviews, while preschoolers, kids, and teens can earn additional points by joining Library activities online.

  • Preschool, ages birth through 5
  • Preschool kids can “review” their reads – maybe by drawing a picture or talking on video about a favorite book. At 100 points, preschoolers qualify for a free book!
  • Kids, ages 5 through 12, and teens, ages 12 through 18
  • Overlapping ages allow kids, teens, and their parents to determine when they’re ready for the next step. At 200 points, kids and teens can pick their prize – a free book. Just like last summer, kids can pick up make-and-take craft kits from their local libraries. Will there be coffee filter butterflies and mini flower planters again this year? Stay tuned to find out what’s in store each week.
  • Adults, ages 19 and up
  • We get it... there’s a lot on your plate. That’s why we make it easy to reach for a book and earn points. Reach 30 points this summer – perhaps by reading three books and writing three reviews, reading six books, or spending five hours reading – and earn a free book.

When they reach the halfway point of their reading goals, preschoolers, kids, and teens can pick up The Library’s popular Explore Your Community bags (available on July 1). There will be coupons for area businesses, attractions, and restaurants, so families can stretch their dollars further as they revisit old favorites or find new ways to make great memories.

All participants who complete the Summer Reading Challenge are also entered into prize drawings.

SRCHow the challenge helps kids and adults

Why join the Summer Reading Challenge? For kids, it prevents the infamous “summer slide” of learning loss. Research shows that kids who participate in library summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests than their non-participating peers when the new school year starts.

For adults, the Challenge encourages taking some “me-time” to stretch out with a great read, whether it’s illuminating and educational or eerie and escapist.

The Library’s Adult Programming and Outreach Coordinator Ashley Famularo was pleasantly surprised to learn that adult Summer Reading Challenge members decided to explore critical issues during the hot-button, locked-down summer of 2020.

“It was a stressful spring and summer, but we had a lot of people logging in with nonfiction reads – historical biography, and a lot of books about democracy and our electoral system,” she says. “Because these were hot topics, people wanted to educate themselves more. I was impressed by that. Other people just needed fun beach reads and happy things to read. It’s always a good mix.”

Christina Lauver

Marketing & Public Relations Manager

The above piece represents the views of the author and is meant to inspire dialogue and increase understanding and a sense of community. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of The Library. Members are welcome to comment below or contact us privately by using our online contact form >