Summer Reading Challenge

Have you signed up for the  summer reading challenge, yet? If you have, great! If you have not, what are you waiting for? We have made the program so simple this year–the only thing you your child has to do is read!


If you have children birth to age 18, stop by one of your favorite Stark County District Library locations to sign up, and you’ll receive a map. Your child can mark on the map every day spent reading. There are categories for children birth to age 5 (read to me), age 5 through grade 5 (children), and grade 6 through grade 12 (teens).

For every five days read, make sure to bring your map back to the library to receive a coupon to a local restaurant like Chipotle, McDonald’s, Taggart’s, Chik-Fil-A, and Wendy’s–teens have other coupon choices as well! Once you reach 40 days read, you’ll receive a book and a coupon along with an entry into our grand prize drawing. If your child reaches 50 days read during the summer, she will receive a bonus book and coupon along with a second entry into the grand prize drawing. To add to the excitement of summer reading, anyone who registers and participates in the program will also have the opportunity to walk in the kick-off Hall of Fame Community Parade.  

This year, our theme is Fizz! Boom! Read! If you aren’t from Stark County, your local library may be doing the same theme (it’s a collaborative summer program). What does that mean? Many of our programs are themed around science and hands on activities this year. (I would definitely recommend visiting the Artful Science program–there’s bubbling glitter!)

Parents, don’t let your child fall behind this summer…keep reading every day to help them stay ahead when school starts.



Fun Facts about Children’s Books

As I was searching the Internet for literacy information, I found this great little infographic with facts from children’s classics, the history of children’s books, and a little literacy information. While the graphic is a couple years old, it still has relevant information.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

School is out. It’s finally summer. And the weather is finally acting like it. The best part of summer is playing outside and doing the things you don’t get to do the rest of the year: play basketball, jump rope, play four-square, hide and seek, take a bike ride, visit the park, plan a picnic, etc. Eventually, though, these activities get old. And after day three, you start hearing, “There’s nothing to do outside. I’m so bored.”


The best way to fix this is to be proactive. Plan activities that can be done throughout the summer. And just because it is summer, doesn’t mean you can’t practice colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. Here are some Nature Scavenger Hunt ideas from around the Internet that will make being outside much more enjoyable after the novelty of summer has worn off.


backyard-alphabet-hunt-cover-The Backyard Alphabet Hunt from

Using either a giant roll of paper or several sheets of construction paper, write out the alphabet in big letters. Place it on a flat surface outside: driveway, sidewalk (away from the road), grass, porch, etc. Secure it with something heavy on each end (buckets, rocks, planters, etc.). Then let your children have fun exploring the yard as they look for items that begin with each letter of the alphabet. When they find something, tell them to put it under that letter on the large paper. See how many letters you can fill.



Nature Scavenger Hunt from HowtoNestforLess.comsummer-camp-scavenger-hunt-791x1024

Print out the scavenger hunt from and give your child a paper bag, bucket, or other item that can be filled with all of the items she finds. As you walk around your yard, look for the items on the list. This list includes more than just specific items; it asks children to find shapes, colors, and different textures.


ss_102094276 Color Spy from

Stop by your local home improvement or paint store and collect a few paint chips in various colors. (Usually it’s not a problem–just don’t take hundreds at a time!!) Punch out large holes on each color. As you walk around the yard or park with your child, place different objects in the hole to see if they match the colors. How many matches can you find?





Motivating Angry Readers

As the last day of school approaches, children are going to find themselves with free time. Instead of sleeping, eat junk food, or watching too much television, keep them reading this summer. (As someone who works at a library, I’m supposed to say that.) But I really mean it. 


The goal is not to force a child to read–we don’t want to use reading as a punishment. They will only see reading as a bad thing. Instead, we want to motivate them to read and help them learn to love books. So what do we do when a child says, “I’m a good reader, but I don’t like to read.” Or “I hate reading.” And my favorite, “Books are boring!”

Esme Raji Codell, author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, has some suggestions:

  • You can stay up as late as you want tonight, as long as you are reading.
  • I know you like _______. Here’s a book of _______.
  • Here’s a flashlight. I’ve set a place for you in the closet/under the table/on those pillows over there, so you can have a private spot to read.
  • I’ve been saving this present for a rainy day. Here’s a new book/my favorite book from when I was your age.
  • It’s hard to wait! Here, read this, it’ll make the time fly by!
  • Would you keep me company while I sort laundry by reading me an article that interests you from the newspaper/magazine?
  • Tell me about that book you just finished. It looked interesting.

You could also start asking your child random questions about a book sitting on the table. Ask silly questions (things you know couldn’t possibly happen in the book) to get them interested in talking about it.