Saturday, June 22nd, 2024 Church Directory

Libraries kick off kids’ summer reading challenge

Clearwater, Becker, and Big Lake public libraries have kicked off this year’s summer reading challenge with lots of excitement and fun, family-friendly events at their branches. This year’s theme is “Read, Renew, Repeat!’ and upcoming events are planned to get the challenge off to a great start.

This summer’s reading challenge runs from June 3 to August 3 and is designed to help students keep reading and keep their minds active all summer long. Programs are available for children 0-12 and teens in grades 6-12. Participants can again keep track of their reading time with paper reading records or by downloading the Beanstack Tracker app.

“This is our favorite time of the year,” said Clearwater Librarian Shelly Kuelbs. “Our young visitors are so excited about reading and earning entries for some great prizes.”

Clearwater Library is offering numerous fun programs throughout the challenge, including Tiny School of Art and Design, Wonder Wednesdays, Storytime with the Wright County Dairy Princesses, Anime Drawing with Rumriver Art Center, and their ongoing monthly Paws to Read programs.

“This year we really wanted to find prizes to suit every interest, so we have magnetic tile, solar robot, and fort building sets for the aspiring engineers along with art and craft sets for the young creators.” said Kuelbs, “Every five hours they read gives them another chance in the drawings for prizes.”

Last year 177 kids signed up for Clearwater’s summer reading challenge; their goal this year is to have over 200.

The challenge’s final day happens to coincide with Clearwater’s Heritage Festival. To celebrate, a Clay City art program and Brodini the Magician are scheduled.

“Great River Regional Library is excited to partner with parents and caregivers to encourage the joy of reading,” said Hilary Dawson, librarian for both Becker and Big Lake. “Some of my favorite childhood books were read during lazy summer afternoons, no pressure, just reading for enjoyment.”

The summer reading challenge at Becker and Big Lake Libraries is set up in the same, with participants receiving a prize book for their first reading log returned. The libraries have great prizes and programs ready for their participants.

“The summer reading challenge is super fun while supporting reading skills, encouraging life-long reading habits, supporting reluctant readers, and increasing a child’s knowledge base,” said Dawson. “The staff at the Becker and Big Lake libraries invite you to come in and get registered for the challenge.”

Becker Library also has numerous programs going on throughout the challenge, including Tiny Art Summer, Magic Bob, Collaboratory Music Deck at the Freedom Days Car Show, Community Mosaic Project with Laura Ruprecht, Remarkable Reptiles, Now Make Art – Color X, as well as their reoccurring programs like Storytime, Tiny Tots, Family Engineering Challenge, Schooled in Art, Book Clubs, and Tech Tuesdays for Seniors.

Over in Big Lake patrons can attend Remarkable Reptiles, Watermelon Coasters, Now Make Art – Swap and Share, Make a Butterfly House, Snap Circuit, Marble Run Market, and Tiny School of Art and Design at the Big Lake Farmers Market. Their ongoing programs will be happening as well, including Storytime, Tiny Tots, Schooled in Art, Book Club, and Tech Tuesdays for Seniors.

The goal of the summer reading challenge is to defeat the ‘summer slide,’ which occurs when students fall backward in learning during their three-month summer break. The benefits of reading during this time are huge. Research has shown that students who participate in summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests in the fall than those who didn’t participate.

Mark the dates and join the fun at the Clearwater, Becker, and Big Lake libraries this summer. The branches belong to the Great River Regional Library system. For more information on programs available at all branches, visit