By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge has started, and it’s not too late for all ages (both kids and adults) to sign up.
This year’s theme is Ocean of Possibilities, and everyone is challenged to read for 20 minutes a day. The Reading Challenge continues through July 24. There are events, performers, prizes, and drawings for all ages. Everything is free.
The event launched on Monday, June 6, and the first program was held Thursday, June 9. Andy Porter, with the North Georgia Family Resource Agency, read to children at the library. According to Spencer Pennington, Dade County Library’s Youth Education Coordinator, the event was well attended with 86 kids and 49 adults.
Pennington said that one of the goals of the Summer Reading Challenge is to make reading fun.
“Over the summer, kids can lose 20 percent of a school year, or summer slide, if they’re not doing anything academically. Just reading can reduce most of the impacts of summer slide,” Pennington said.
Pennington continued, “The benefits of being read to start at birth. We are in the process of putting together more resources for parents to learn the value of reading to their kids that can’t read yet. For the kids that are being read to, or need help reading a book, that still counts as reading minutes for the challenge. It makes lifelong learners.”
There are many special programs happening at the library for all ages, as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. Anyone can attend the events, even if they are not registered for the challenge.
On Thursdays at 11 a.m. there are programs geared for kids. On June 16, entertainer Tommy Johns presents 20,000 Laughs Under the Sea. On June 23, the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom will visit the library. On June 30, there will be a Deep Sea Circus event with Barry Mitchell. On July 7, Mr. Damon’s Shadow Puppet Theater will present Stories of the Sea. On July 14, Dade Middle School art teacher Brandi Gann will hold an underwater art program. On July 21, there will be a Land Ho! Rhythmic Journey with Beatin’ Path Rhythm Events program.
There will also be teen and adult programming. On July 23, there is a teen and tween game night. There is a Medicinal Herbs program for adults on Tuesday, July 5 at 5 p.m. On July 7, there will be teen and tween escape rooms. On July 12 at 1 p.m., there will be an all ages, sensory friendly movie matinee. On July 21, there will be a teen and tween drum circle.
In addition, kids can come into the library at any time and participate in a scavenger hunt.
When someone logs in their 20 minutes of reading per day, they have a chance to earn badges and brag tags. Tickets can also be earned to be entered into prize drawings. There are drawings for kids, teens and adults.
Book recommendations can be found on NoveList Plus, a free digital service found on chrl.org. In addition, the library has been compiling a catalog of books based on different reading levels for children.
Anyone that completes the challenge gets to pick out a free book from the prize room at the library.
Register for the Summer Reading Challenge at chrl.beanstack.org. You will need a library card to register. Stop by the library or visit chrl.org to sign up for a digital card.