Southwest Public Libraries offers “Oceans of Possibilities” with reading challenge

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Southwest Public Libraries will kick off its popular annual Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) on June 4 this year, launching a summer of reading fun and live performers and programs.

The first fully live SRC since 2019, the challenge will run June 4 through July 31 and is offered for all ages, babies through adults. All performers, programs, and activities are free and open to the public.

Participants will be able to track their reading, attend library programs, and complete activities to earn prizes and raffle entries. Registration is open online at the library’s website, in-person at the library, or through the READsquared app. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities.

Summer Reading Challenge is a crowd-favorite tradition intended to foster learning during the summer months and help resist “summer slide,” the tendency for children to lose significant learning gains over the summer if they do not read or engage in other enrichment activities while school is out of session.

The fun is not just for kids though.

“We love our adult patrons,” said Denise Southworth, Westland reference and adult services librarian. “Adults can get in on the SRC fun too with special programs and a challenge tailored just for them.”

Adult participants can submit book reviews and complete special activities to earn gift-card raffle entries or enjoy one of many engaging adult programs, including book discussions, DIY programs, and weekly Take and Make Kits.

This year marks the first fully live SRC since 2019, and live SRC performers – one of the biggest draws to the program – are making a much-anticipated return after two years of virtual performances due to the pandemic.

“Staff are just as excited as patrons to have our first full in-person Summer Reading program since the pandemic,” said Kacy Cox, assistant director of the Grove City Library.

“Families look to the library each summer for opportunities that are both entertaining and educational for their children,” said Michele Lowe, assistant director of the Westland Area Library. “Summer performances are one of the biggest draws to SRC and are usually very well-attended.”

Some of the most popular animal programs routinely draw hundreds of attendees.
This year, the library will host six free performers at each location, with a morning performance at Grove City Library at 10:30 a.m. and a repeated afternoon performance at Westland Area Library at 1:30 p.m.
•Monday, June 6: Kickoff Party featuring The Alans Magic & Mentalism
•Monday, June 13: Farm Animals at the Library (Bring the Farm to You)
Notes: The Grove City program will be presented at Town Center Park, the old library site on Park Street. The program at Westland will begin at 2 p.m. instead of 1:30 p.m.
•Monday, June 27: Erica Carlson’s Rockin’ Pirate Show featuring Sedgewick the Live Hedgehog
•Monday, July 11: Pirates Lost at Sea with Talewise
•Monday, July 18: Oceans of Possibilities with the Armstrong Air & Space Museum
•Wednesday, July 27: Stingrays with Newport Aquarium

In addition to live performers, each library is offering a host of summer activities for all ages:
•Programs for Youth include: ocean-themed storytimes, Amazing Water Labs, STEM programs, Saturday movies, LEGO club, weekly Take and Make kits, two Wildlife Wednesday programs with Battelle Darby Creek Park, and more.
•Programs for Teens include: Team Trivia, Teen DIY programs, plus a tasty Cupcake Decorating Challenge.
•Programs for Adults include: An intro to Basic Self Defense and Types of Martial Arts, Book Discussion, weekly Take & Make craft kits, a movie night screening of Cast Away, and several DIY programs.

Learn more and view all programs at www.swpl.org.

About Summer Reading Challenge

Southwest Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge is a crowd-favorite, decades-long tradition encouraging children and adults to read and fostering learning throughout the summer by providing a variety of enrichment activities. The library presents a multitude of staff-led programs as well as live performers all summer long with activities and reading challenges for all ages. Participants can track their reading, attend library programs, and complete special activities to earn prizes and raffle entries. All performers, programs, and activities are free and open to the public. In 2019, SPL had nearly 4,000 SRC registrants.

About Southwest Public Libraries

Southwest Public Libraries serves over 127 square miles in southwest Franklin county and surrounding areas through its two branches, Grove City Library and Westland Area Library. SPL seeks to serve as the community’s center for lifelong learning by connecting visitors with resources, technology, and programs to educate and inspire.

The library system provides access to millions of items through a consortium partnership with 17 central Ohio libraries and is currently offering an array of both in-building and no-contact services to serve the community safely and innovatively. Visit www.swpl.org for more information or connect with SPL on social media: Facebook @SPLFranklinCountyOH and Instagram @southwestpl.

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