The Free Public Library of Monroe Township has kicked-off their summer reading program on Monday, June 21 with the theme of Tails and Tales. But despite the strides made with COVID-19, the program will be virtual.
“Even with things opening up and all the preparation time and not knowing what is going on with COVID and the vaccine we are still doing it virtually rather than in-person for the most part,” said Kyle Casser, the Teen Librarian at the library. “We have an online platform where everyone can go online to register and they can do all the reading, logging of activities and reading time over the course of the summer.”
The summer reading program is available to every age from children to adults. The three programs available are the children’s program (ages 8-12), teen program (ages 13-18) and the adult program. Each participant can choose their own books and can read as many or as few as they would like.
“The books are entirely up to the reader,” said Casser. “Sometimes for school summer reading, kids may get a book that they are not very excited about … We just want them to have that incentive to keep reading over the summer. We are hoping families can get involved and they can all do it together.”
All of the programs include crafts and activities that coincide with the theme of animals and fairy tales. Although each program is under the same theme, the activities are geared toward the appropriate age level.
Not only are the activities fun and entertaining, but for each one completed the participants will earn points and prizes.
“They don’t have to do everything but they are going to be trying to reach a certain amount of points by the end of the summer and earn prizes along the way,” said Casser. “At the end of the summer we are doing a raffle drawing. With all of the missions they complete and they get entered into our raffle. We will do one every day during the last week of the summer for every age group.”
Although the program is virtual this year, the library is still offering activity bags and supplies for families to pick up so everyone can get the opportunity to participate in the program. But the library is also asking donations from the community to help collect materials. Some of these materials include cardboard egg cartons, boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, along with cardboard milk and orange juice cartons. Any donations can be dropped off at the front desk during normal library hours.
“The kids have been coming in the past couple of months with the activity bags that we have been doing and we have them prepared with materials,” said Casser. “We are looking for cardboard pieces … That way if kids come in we have them to give out if they need it. But it is also something they might have at home lying around where they don’t have to come into the library if they are not comfortable or able to yet.”
Along with the summer reading program the library is also excited to offer some in-person activities and events such as the return of their library museum passes, teen and tween painting and movies in the park.
For more information about the summer reading program or upcoming events visit http://monroetpl.org.