Families are encouraged to make the Burlington County Library System their go-to source for summer fun this year by exploring the array of exciting opportunities available at every library location, from the popular children’s Summer Reading program, to live performances, to cutting-edge technology and more.
“Our libraries are great places to spend the summer,” said Freeholder Felicia Hopson, liaison to the Burlington County Library System. “Children and teens will find a wide range of entertainment to explore, not just great books, but exciting, free library events, access to technology, the opportunity to earn prizes during our Summer Reading program and much more. Reading is critical to prevent academic backslide during the summer months. The Burlington County Library System works to provide parents the toolkit to keep the whole family engaged and learning all summer long.”
Running from June 24 to Aug. 17, the eight-week BCLS Summer Reading program will feature an assortment of programs for children of all ages, including space exploration, nature and animal presentations, magic shows, and challenging STEM activities. Participants who sign up for the program can again use Beanstack, the library system’s online program, to track their reading progress, explore books lists, and access Activity Tracks customized for each age group and designed to encourage learning, curiosity and fun.
Beyond the Summer Reading Program, BCLS has much to offer families in search of some leisure time fun close to home. Programs are available for children, teens and adults at every location, including indoor movies, book clubs and story times, yoga sessions and crafts, video and board games, LEGO building and STEM exploration, business and computer classes and activities for the special needs community.
BCLS Coordinator of Youth Services Christina Nemphos encouraged residents to take advantage of all the libraries have to offer and noted visitors will find welcoming spaces throughout the system. In fact, the youth services department at the Burlington County Library in Westampton recently received new upgrades that visitors will love.
“The newly designed area featuring freshly painted walls is debuting just in time for summer,” Nemphos said. “Library visitors will find brand new, kid-friendly furniture tailor-made for little library users, collaborative tables perfect for STEM programs, as well as a new tech bar with PCs and AWE Early Literacy computers. Plus, there are plenty of furniture options for parents and caregivers who just want to sit and relax, or even work while children explore the space.”
The library system’s AWE Early Literacy Computers feature more than 70 preloaded educational games, including many that incorporate STEM-based learning activities. The award-winning, digital resource ABCMouse.com is available at all BCLS branches, and with more than 8,000 online activities and lessons, including books, games, puzzles, and songs, it lets younger kids have a blast while learning. Children also can log on to the popular on-demand video streaming service Kanopy Kids to access a wealth of age-appropriate animated stories, classic movies, family films, TV shows, language learning programs, history tales and more. For more information on these offerings as well as a schedule of events, please visit https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/county
Learning and fun isn’t confined within the library walls. The popular BCLS Museum Pass Program gives cardholders free access to a variety of area attractions, such as Paws Discovery Farm in Mount Laurel, Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, and a host of other arts, educational and cultural sites. A full list can be found on our website at https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/museum-pass-program
In addition to the Burlington County Library in Westampton, BCLS includes the Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Evesham, Maple Shade, Pemberton, Pinelands and Riverton branches. To learn more about all the exciting opportunities available inside and outside the libraries this summer – and year-round – go to www.bcls.lib.nj.us