Upshur County Public Library kicks off summer reading program

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Public Library is thrilled to announce the launch of its annual Summer Reading Program, designed to engage readers of all ages from June 1 to June 27, 2024. This year’s theme, “It’s a jungle of fun!” invites participants to explore both real and imaginary far-off places, including an actual rainforest, through the magic of reading.

Library Director Paul Norko highlighted the importance of the Summer Reading Program in preventing the “summer slide,” a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months.

“Summer reading really helps with preventing a summer slide that happens every year when school lets out,” Norko explained. “It helps children get better test scores and promotes the love of reading throughout the times when schools aren’t available for them. We actually do an all-ages summer reading program because we’re big on the whole lifelong learning concept. Even if you’re an adult, we don’t want you to forget about that. Reading helps you learn about the world around you and entertain yourself.”

This year, the program is fully accessible through the ReadSquared app, making it easy for participants to register and track their progress.

“We are fully using the ReadSquared app,” Norko said. “You visit our website for the URL, and there’s a link to the app right there on the page. We also have a flyer in the library with a QR code to the page as well. If you come into the library, you can register as a family or individually. Some parents prefer to register as a family and do a batch upload of minutes.”

The Summer Reading Program is divided into four categories: Pre-K (ages 0-3), Kids (ages 3-12), Teens (13-18), and Adults (19+). Participants can earn points for reading and participating in various library activities, which can then be redeemed for prizes. For example, teens can earn additional points by submitting book reviews, and children can participate in weekly in-library activities such as the I-Spy cabinet and passive arts and crafts.

“To celebrate the end of the program, the library will host a wrap party on Thursday, June 27, at 1 p.m.,” Norko said. “Attendees will enjoy a Zoom-based tour through the jungle of Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica, with opportunities to see exotic birds, animals and plants in their native habitat. The event will also feature pizza and Zul’s Frozen Lemonade.”

For more information on how to sign up and participate in the Summer Reading Program, visit the Upshur County Public Library’s website or Facebook page, or call the library at 304-473-4219 (ext. 2 for circulation).

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