by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Community Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off July 2, and staff are hoping Morinville and area readers will read their way to the moon.
This year’s theme is the Great Alberta READ Trip. For each minute participants read, they will be awarded one kilometre on the travel map.
During the program, participants can visit the Library and customize road trips around Alberta. The travel theme will tie into activities for young readers with conversations varying from a look at distances to discussions on the ecosystems found within Alberta.
“There’s going to be a different drop-in activity each week. These are free programs. You do not require a Library card, but you do need to register,” said Program Coordinator Stacey Buga. “There’s going to be certain travel days five days a week and special guests and activities on Thursdays.”
But the Library’s goal is a little farther than merely travelling the vast province in reading minutes. Buga is hoping the cumulative total of minutes for all readers will reach the moon.
“It’s all ages. We need everyone from zero to 100 participating,” Buga said of the ambitious reading goal. “Hopefully, we are going to be able to have enough kilometres from everybody to get to the moon. We’re looking for about 380,000 kilometres, which means 380,000 minutes read.”
It is a big undertaking as the goal equals 38 minutes of reading for every resident of Morinville or 63 hours of reading if the program attracts 100 participants.
Each year, the Library participates in both a Summer and Winter Reading Program. Although the last couple of years have seen the Library create their own Summer Reading Program from scratch, this year’s offering is an amalgam of the national TD Summer Reading Program offered through the Northern Lights Library System and Morinville’s unique twists on the theme.
“The Summer Reading Program for the Library sees a lot of people come through. A lot of times it is people that don’t use the Library because they have access through other resources. A lot of students see what they call the summer slide where their reading levels slide down because they are not doing a lot of school work.”
As such, the Morinville Community Library sees the annual summer program as an opportunity for families to challenge one another on reading time and hone those reading skills over the summer break while having fun.
Buga said sponsorship from Morinville’s business community has been active once again this year, allowing them to run the program throughout the summer free of charge.
“We are fully funded this year and free for everyone to participate,” Buga said. “We’ve got a fantastic business community here.”
This year’s Summer Reading Program runs from July 2 until Aug. 16. The wrap-up party will include a magic show at the Library. Details will be announced later this summer.
For more information on the program, visit the Library in person, online at MorinvilleLibrary.ca, or call them at 780-939-3292.