Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library will wrap up its eight-week Summer Learning program on August 8. Current participants and eager newcomers may still complete the reading challenges required to become eligible for grand prize drawings that will be held on August 11. Log-ins and registration are available at www.catawbacountync.gov/library.
Summer Learning is a free annual adventure that helps students and families engage with books, ideas, and information while schools are out of session. This year, the theme of ‘Imagine Your Story’ has embraced everything from myth and fairy tale to folklore, local history, and family genealogy.
Child, teen, and adult participants who have completed their reading challenges and activities – and who have also filled out a survey – will have their names entered for the grand prize drawings. Restaurant prizes include gift certificates to Western Steer Steakhouse, Dixie’s Fish & Chicken, and Blue Moon Tavern. Attraction prizes include guest passes to the Hickory Community Theater, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Tiger World, the Catawba Science Center, and DEFY Hickory Trampoline Park. Food Lion gift cards will also be given away.
During the course of the summer, children have been encouraged to read at least 10 hours, or 600 minutes. They’ve been able to earn online badges for every 100-minute milestone, and each 200-minute milestone has allowed them to choose a prize from the local library’s treasure chest. Adult participants of Summer Learning have been able to earn online badges by keeping a record of their own reading achievements.
Logging reading minutes and completing activities has been enhanced this year with a fun online portal called Beanstack. Available through a website or as an app, it provides an interactive, personalized experience and even offers weekly book recommendations tailored to a reader’s age and preferences.
To engage families at home, the Catawba County Library has also hosted a trio of online performers through Zoom sessions. Storyteller Donna Washington launched the series and was followed by Mad Science, whose interactive experiments combined air pressure and dragons, and Yasu Ishida, a magician, multicultural storyteller, and origami artist.
Each year, Summer Learning participants have the opportunity to share the program’s impact on their own knowledge and engagement. In 2019, 169 surveys were collected with 93% of the respondents agreeing that they had learned something helpful and 91% acknowledging that they felt more confident about what they had learned.