Above: Morinville Community Library Program Coordinator Jessica Sheppard holds Saffire the Dragon, the mascot for this year’s A Grand Adventure Summer Reading Program. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Community Library is making plans for its annual Summer Reading Program, running from July 1 until Aug. 13. Registration for this year’s summer reading program opens on June 12.
Morinville Community Library Program Coordinator Jessica Sheppard said this year’s program, A Grand Adventure, has a fantasy theme. Readers will be divided into four fantasy-related groups to compete as a unit.
“It gets a healthy amount of competition for people,” she said. “Our teams are going to be Team Amethyst, Team Ruby, Team Saphire, and Team Emerald.”
Sheppard said the Summer Reading Program is a program where people of all ages can utilize the summer to read.
“It’s promoting literacy. We want people to have fun while they read,” Sheppard said. “It’s especially good for reluctant readers if you have a reluctant reader in your family.”
Sheppard said the program, which tracks reading time, incentivizes readers through activities and events where they can feel celebrated for hitting milestones. Additionally, prizes will be awarded to top readers in preschool, elementary, teen and adult divisions.
“It’s making reading a positive experience for people instead of making it something that they feel like it is something they have to do,” she said. “When you feel like you have to do something, [you] don’t want to do it.”
The Library will track reading through BeanStack, an online resource to log and monitor reading challenges. Those without access can get a paper log, and library staff will put those hours into BeanStack.
Each team will have its own challenge, a page to log the collective reading minutes of the group.
Sheppard said each week would feature a new mythical creature that will form part of the program and the drop-in activities connected to the program.
“For example, week two is going to be all about mermaids,” she said. “I’ve created a narrative for people where they can make their own characters, and those characters get to go through the story as if they are doing something like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.”
Sheppard said in addition to the reading minute prizes, there will also be a draw for an award based on character creation.
Participants do not need a library card for the drop-in programs or the reading challenges; however, participants do need a library card to sign out books.
“It’s going to be really fun,” Sheppard said of the month-and-a-half-long program. “Honestly, I think that the theme especially is going to be fun for kids to imagine themselves in a fantasy world.
The Library sees the Summer Reading Program as an excellent way to get involved in the community and a good way to get kids out of their comfort zone, especially for in-person crafts and events.
“It’ll be good for them to meet other people, especially if they enjoy going to the Library,” Sheppard said.
The Library also seeks volunteers to assist with this year’s A Grand Adventure Summer Reading Program.
For more information on the program or volunteering to be part of it, visit MorinvilleLibrary.ca or visit the Library’s front desk.