Summer Reading Challenge will run through the end of July

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Southwest Public Libraries (SPL) will offer its annual Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) in a creative virtual format from June 5 through July 31.

Registration opens June 5 and participants will be able to sign up on the library’s website, in person at the Grove City or Westland Area Library, or through the READsquared app.

This year’s theme of “Tails and Tales” features animals and stories.

Offered for all ages, babies through adults, SRC focuses on fostering early literacy and keeping minds active during the summer months, helping to combat learning loss known as “summer slide.” This refers to the tendency for children to lose significant learning gains over the summer if they do not partake in reading or other enrichment activities while school is out of session.

The library has adapted SRC to continue to serve the community safely. Programming that is traditionally offered live will be presented virtually. SRC participants will have the opportunity to track their reading, attend virtual programs, do online activities, explore library resources, complete missions and quests, and more to earn prizes.

Activities include:

•Children’s author Laura Numeroff, best known for the series based on her book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” (June 7, 12:00 p.m.)

•Columbus Zoo (June 14, 10:30 a.m.)

•TaleWise, a show interweaving stories and science (June 21, 10:30 a.m.)

•Turtle Dance Music, a music and comedy show crafted to be inclusive for all children including those on the autism spectrum (July 12, 10:30 a.m.)

•Wildlife Encounters, bringing favorite animal characters from books to life (July 19, 10:30 a.m.)

•Reggie Harris: Music and the Underground Railroad (July 26, 10:30 a.m.)

In addition, library staff will virtually present a host of special programs, storytimes, book discussions, and more for all ages throughout the summer while also providing ample opportunities to get hands on with a variety of take-home “Take and Make” craft and activity kits.

SRC is one of the library’s most popular programs that is eagerly anticipated by participants and staff alike.

“We are so excited to be able to offer another Summer Reading Challenge safely this year,” says Meredith Wickham, director of Southwest Public Libraries. “Even in a typical year, we know what it takes to combat the loss of reading skills over the summer, and with the pandemic intensifying learning loss, it’s become even more important. Our staff have spent months creating a stimulating program for all ages, and we look forward to a fun and reading-filled summer together.”

Details about the library’s Summer Reading Challenge can be found at swpl.org. Visit the library’s website for a full calendar of events.

Southwest Public Libraries serves southwest Franklin county and surrounding areas through its two branches, Grove City Library and Westland Area Library.

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