Youth Services Summer Reading Recap – Oceans of Possibilities

We had a blast once again in Youth Services with our Summer Reading Challenge! This year’s theme was “Oceans of Possibilities,” and we kicked off the summer with a contest to name the pirate ship suspended from the ceiling of the Children’s Department. The ship – now called “The Cuento” (meaning “story” in Spanish) – has been the focal point of tons of summer fun here at the library. Just beneath the ship, children have spent their summer hunting for hidden riddle locations on our giant treasure map, then solving the clues to guess the mystery animal. Hundreds of young readers completed program levels and earned prizes. To complete a level, the children logged their minutes read and chose different kindness activities as part of the social emotional learning component of the program. As a fun bonus, the children had the opportunity to write their names on colorful paper fish – schools of fish can been seen ‘swimming’ across the walls all throughout the Youth Department! Children in our “Read to Me” Challenge for ages 4 & under and our grade K-5 Summer Reading Challenge logged a grand total of 156,560 minutes read and completed 2,259 kindness challenges! Teens in grades 6-12 added another 77,524 minutes, taking us to over 230,000 minutes (or over 160 days!) of reading this summer. Teens wrote 159 book reviews as part of their summer challenge, and we loved hearing what they thought about some of our newest books. We especially enjoyed hearing from children, teens and parents about how much fun they had reading & completing the kindness challenges throughout the summer. It was exciting to see you participate in our weekly take-home crafts, storytimes, book tastings, pop-up craft tables, and reading programs like Book Buddies and Paws to Read. We welcomed our teens to board game and video game nights, a weekly puzzle club where teens completed an 830-piece 3D model of Notre Dame Cathedral and celebrated all of our summer teen volunteers with a pizza party. Our summer program concluded with a super fun, high energy music performance by Ron Albanese at our end of the summer concert celebration. We are grateful to have our summer tradition continue as we enjoy seeing readers of all ages here at the library all year long. As youngsters get ready to head back to their classrooms, don’t forget to check our calendar of events for more reading programs and fun fall activities. Happy reading! –Gina Vaccaro, Head of Youth Services