It’s that time of year again where days are growing longer, the smell of fresh-cut grass is constantly in the air, and we are all praying for that rainstorm to come cool us off from the heat of the afternoon. Add the fact that kids are done with school and this can only mean one thing– Summer Reading at the library is getting ready to begin!
For decades librarians have dedicated their summers to making sure that children do not fall behind on their reading by challenging them to read a certain number of books or hours. Over time, we have realized that just reading does not always appeal to everyone and doesn’t have as big of an impact as we would like. Kids, teens and adults need to stay engaged through all sorts of activities, where reading can be a part of the fun, but not all of it.
Botetourt County librarians decided to take a different approach than in years past, especially due to the success of our 2020 reading challenge which took place online last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Through partnerships with Botetourt County Public Schools and Parks & Rec, community feedback and really trying to pinpoint what we wanted our participants to take away from our challenges, we have created our best summer challenge to date. Starting June 7, Botetourt County Libraries launch their Summer Learning Challenge– “Reading Colors Your World.”
Just like last year, our challenge is accessible through our reading tracking site, botetourtva.beanstack.org. The challenge revolves around learning and is packed full of tactile learning experiences from creating sunshades out of materials laying around the house to creating a butterfly garden.
Anyone ages 0-99 are encouraged to participate. They will have access to our activity badges, which we divided into five categories: Develop Creativity, Explore Art, Find Beauty in Diversity, Try New Things, and our Reading Genre Trail. Under each of these categories you will find suggestions for activities, adventures and readings to keep you and your family entertained and engaged all summer.
And yes, due to the popularity of the Story Walk at the Botetourt Sports Complex last year as well as the Geocache hunts, they will return to this year’s challenge. Stay tuned to future editions of the Library Buzz this summer for an in-depth look at these two successful activities.
For those of you who just want the basic reading for reading’s sake, we have you covered. You can keep track of everything you read, reading duration and you can even leave reviews that are shared on our site.
Not only does this challenge include some awesome activities, it also includes some amazing incentives. Every time participants complete a badge, they will earn digital raffle tickets to use towards items such as STEM Activity Kits, light up scooter, family kayak, paddle board, Nintendo Switch and so much more!
Did your eyes light up at the sounds of those incentives? Anyone between the ages of 0-99 is eligible to participate. If you don’t already have an account with Beanstack from last year’s challenge, then head over to botetourtva.beanstack.org to create your account today! Happy Learning!
~ Jaime Duval
Eagle Rock Branch Librarian