We’ve all heard of the dreaded “summer slide,” when a child loses some of the academic ground he or she gained throughout the school year during the summer months.
Now we’re hearing of “COVID-19 slide,” which is the same idea, but with a spicy side of global pandemic.
To help Hoosiers keep their minds sharp this summer, the Indianapolis Public Library and Carmel Clay Public Library will be substituting their normal in-person summer programming with a range of virtual programming.
To serve kids of every reading ability better, the Indianapolis Public Library already had plans to revamp their summer reading program, even before COVID-19 happened. Doing away with counting how many books a child reads, kids can now earn points and prizes this summer based on how many minutes they read instead.
“There’s research out there that says kids should read 20 minutes a day to prevent summer slide,” says Sharon Bernhardt, an IPL librarian. “So this summer, we’re counting how many minutes kids read, not how many books they read.”
With a top goal of reading 10 hours this summer, kids can earn prizes along the way by tracking their reading minutes right at home with a mobile app called Beanstack. For people who may not have access to the app, library branch phone lines will remain open for folks to call in, sign up and track their reading hours with a librarian. Kids who are not quite at reading level yet will also be able to qualify for prizes through a variety of activities that you can find on their website. Prizes this summer include a brand new bicycle at every branch, toys, movie and museum tickets, and more. All are encouraged to participate in this summer’s reading program, June 1-August 1.
At the time this article is being written, IPL is in the process of sorting out virtual summer programming and curbside book pickup service. In the meantime, the library has expanded their digital services, for kids and adults alike. Learn more at indypl.org.
To stay ahead of the changes that we will undoubtedly continue to experience, Carmel Clay Public Library is working hard to make all of their programming virtual through the end of the year. Beginning June 1, they will also be transitioning their summer reading program over to the Beanstack app to make it accessible from anywhere, and the prize system looks a little different than it usually does.
This year, rather than receiving personal prizes, readers who participate in the program will earn food donations for the Carmel Summer Meals Program, an initiative of the Carmel Youth Assistance Program to help provide sustenance for families throughout the summer. In addition to helping their community in this way, the Carmel library has committed to erasing any overdue library fines for everyone who signs up to participate in the summer program. And yes, adults can also participate!
Doing their part to stir up a love of reading while taking care of their community, the Carmel Clay Public Library hopes Hoosiers will get lost in a few books for a good cause this summer. Learn more at carmelclaylibrary.org.
Summer Reading List Suggestions
- Bear Came Along by Richard Morris
- Hair Love by Matthew Cherry
- Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor
- Unicorn Day by Diana Murray
- Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! by Cece Bell
- Harold & Hog Pretend for Real by Dan Santat
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
- Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang
Chapter Books/Middle Grade
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
- My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder
- Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
- Dog Man: Fetch 22 by Dav Pilkey
- New Kid by Jerry Craft
- White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio
- Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
- Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle
- Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow
- Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy
- Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound by Andrea Davis Pinkney