You might be surprised to know that during a typical year, Library staff begin preparations for Summer Reading in October prior to the program. That's when we pick the theme for the summer and spend months preparing program ideas, brainstorming prizes, fleshing out how the program will run, and developing fun activities for you and your family to enjoy.
In March, we finalize plans, place orders, create the reading log, and have everything ready to go by June 1 when the program officially begins.
This year was no different. At the Youth Services department meeting on March 10, we finalized all plans for the kids’ summer reading program. For three days we thought we had it all figured out.
And then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.
Adapting to the New Normal
While the entire world grappled with the intense changes related to COVID-19 we were about to endure, your Library staff grieved over the incredible plans we had made, turned to a clean page, and started planning again.
The world was changing rapidly as we began recreating Summer Reading, but we knew we wanted the new program to be a few key things:
- interactive and adaptable to different learning styles
- low-tech, after several months of high-tech e-learning and telecommuting
- supportive of our community
- flexible, to allow families to decide for themselves how much they wanted to participate
We know you’ve spent the past few months trying to make everything work and we don’t want Summer Reading to add to your stress. We want you to have fun activities to do and to keep you and your children reading through the summer.
The theme chosen for this summer’s program is Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover.
It's a theme based on exploring the past and pushing further to learn more, whether in science or other topics. We are incredibly excited by what we’ve come up with and we hope you will be too.
How to participate
The program begins June 1 and runs through July 31. Visit mgpl.org/summer for full program and registration details.
The Youth program is for kids from birth through Grade 8. Register your child anytime from June 1-30. After registering, a staff member will contact you to arrange no-contact pickup of your child’s Summer Reading materials bag, which contains everything you need to participate.
- Color the Logo
Color the logo sheet and hang it in your window. As your family takes walks, look for other participating families in your neighborhood. (The coloring sheet is also available in the Library's June/July newsletter and on the Summer Reading webpage.)
Throughout the summer, read! For every 20 minutes you read, mark off your log and keep track of your progress.
- Weekly Activities
Each week, try a suggested activity on our website that you can complete at home. The activities were designed with differentiated learning in mind, so some are easier and some are harder, and they take varying amounts of time so you can pick what works for you.
- Grand Prize Drawing postcards
Use the included postcards to enter our June and July prize raffles by filling them out and mailing them back. Decorate the front of the postcard with a drawing, a book review, or just a message for our staff. We can’t wait to hear from you! The pre-stamped postcards double as your entry into the prize raffles (one for each month), so be sure to send them in.
For Teens & Adults
For teens and adults, the Summer Reading Program looks very similar to the one you’ve loved in past years. This year, however, the program has gone all online. You can win gift cards to Amazon (for teens) and local restaurants and grocery stores (for adults) through what you read, listen to, and watch this summer.
Simply complete the online entry form. Each submission equals one entry for a chance to win a prize, so enter as many times as you want! If you’re suffering from screen fatigue or don’t have internet, you can call us at 847-965-4220 during business hours and we’ll be happy to fill the form out with you.
Most important, we want you to have fun with us this summer. If you’re looking for a distraction in the form of something to read, watch, or listen to, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for recommendations. As always, we’re ready to help you.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep on digging deeper.
Courtney Schroeder is the Youth Services Manager at Morton Grove Public Library.