County libraries kick off reading program

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The summer reading program is a chance to encourage children to continue to read and learn during their school break.

The local library may be known as a place for quiet whispering, but their newly announced summer reading program has some prizes worth shouting about. The annual program is a chance to encourage children to continue to read and learn during their school break by incentivizing them with prizes for completing an activity sheet over the course of the season. For every 20 minutes spent reading, being read to, or taking part in one of the creative activities posted to the library’s YouTube page, participants color in one of the hearts on their log, which is covered in them.

Completing the entire summer reading record by filling in all of the hearts has some wonderful benefits, such as being able to take home a free book to add to the reader’s collection and a limited edition pin. But perhaps more exciting than both of those, the completed reading record also serves as an entry into a raffle for bigger prizes, such as a Nintendo Switch or an Oculus Rift 2 VR headset.

The library encourages all members of the family to participate, not just children. Each member of the household who completes a reading passport is one more raffle entry to win one of the big prizes. In addition to craft activities offered online for younger family members, the library also offers online events geared towards adults, such as watercolor for beginners and nature journaling.

Contra Costa County Librarian Alison McKee is particularly passionate about the summer reading program, explaining that she “didn’t have a formal summer reading program in the small, rural town where I grew up. One of the things I liked best about summer was being able to explore and read whatever I wanted undisturbed by schoolwork.” Her love of reading and other enriching activities shows in the sheer scope of the program, which also includes activities such as sign language demonstrations and magic shows that will be hosted via Zoom in order to continue to allow anyone to participate while remaining socially conscious in regards to the ongoing pandemic. Activities will be posted online weekly every Tuesday through the summer. In order to qualify for prizes, all participants of the Reading Colors Your World program should turn in his or her passport no later than July 31st.

More information on the summer reading program and other activities can be found online at www.ccclib.com/summer or by visiting the local library.

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