Alabaster library to kickoff Summer Reading Challenge

Published 6:16 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

ALABASTER – Local children will soon have the opportunity to read for prizes during the Albert L. Scott Library’s Summer Reading Challenge.

“The Summer Reading Challenge is our summer reading program,” Library Director Kimberly Roberts said. “We challenge kids, teens and adults to read throughout the summer for prizes.”

The program provides kids with an incentive to continue reading through the summer months and a chance to earn prizes.

“It’s always a good time to read to little ones, but summer programs and themes with prizes make it more fun,” Roberts said. “For K-2nd grade it is imperative that they read over the summer to maintain the independent reading skills they learned over the school year. Teens and adults can benefit too by exploring new genres and topics.”

This year, the library changed up the challenge and is allowing kids and teens to set their own reading goals this summer with adjusted prize systems for celebrating them attaining their goals.

“In the past, kids have been able to set a soft goal to earn a completion certificate, but our leveled prize system was really set up for a hard confine of 100 books,” Roberts said. “We understand that for some families this is a daunting unrealistic task, while others complete the program in two weeks; therefore, we’ve made our program more flexible to accommodate both extremes.”

Roberts said for this year’s challenge, parents can help their child set their own goal between 60 and 200 books.

“We want the reading program to be accessible and fun for everyone,” Roberts said. “Our goal is to encourage kids to read on an appropriate level versus quantity.”

Prizes are awarded according to the percentage of a child’s completion of their goal.

“We’ve adjusted the prize system for our Children’s Program by creating two tracks: one for little kids four and under and another for big kids 5-10.” Roberts said. “Little kids will read to earn prizes from our treasure chest, while big kids will read to attain leveled prizes.”

This year’s challenge also features the addition of a new Read and Bead element.

“We’ve added the Read and Bead element to our challenge where kids and teens can have more to help them mark their participation than just their certificates,” Roberts said. “Each necklace will be unique to the amount of books and types of programs they attend. They can even exchange amongst one another throughout and after the program.”

Sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge begins on Monday, May 1 and is available through the library’s ReadSquared app and online at Children may begin logging reading on Monday, May 22, but the first day to pick up prizes is Monday, June 5.

A children’s kickoff event will be held on Wednesday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m. and a character from Shrek the Musical and Urban Pops will be present.

The tweens and teens kickoff will be at 4 p.m. and Mr. Larry Magic will be providing a magical instruction workshop. Registration for both events is available on the library’s Eventbrite page. Teens and adults have their own challenge tracks as well and weekly prize drawings from local business will be held, Roberts said.