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The West Fargo Public Library’s Summer Reading Program begins June 1. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story” with an emphasis on fantasy, fairy tales and folk tales. This annual program aims to combat summer learning loss in children by encouraging patrons of all ages to read during the summer months and take part in library activities. Due to the library’s current closure, this year’s program will take place solely online, with a virtual kickoff party taking place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 5, on Facebook.
“We are so excited for the Summer Reading Program to start,” Lauren Nephew, Library Youth Services Manager said. “Library staff have been working hard to take this important program completely virtual using some great new tools.”
The primary aspect of the Summer Reading Program is the ability for patrons to win prizes by tracking the hours they spend reading. Usually done on paper, this year, participants will track their hours using a tool called Beanstack. Beanstack is offered online at westfargolibrary.beanstack.org and via mobile app.
As readers reach each milestone they unlock a digital badge in the app. Many of the badges have physical prizes associated with them, such as coupons to local businesses. Once they reach a milestone, patrons can utilize the library’s curbside pickup service to get their prizes.
The library also hosts a number of events and activities during the Summer Reading Program. This year, these activities will all take place online, either via videos on Facebook and YouTube or live via Zoom Meeting. Activities include craft tutorials, author presentations, virtual trivia games, STEM activities, writing workshops, contests and more. The library will have materials available for many of the activities, which can be picked up before each event using the library’s curbside pickup service.
Those interested in the Summer Reading Program are encouraged participate in the virtual kickoff party at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 5, on Facebook. This online event, a virtual version of the usual summer reading celebration, will utilize Facebook’s new Watch Party feature and will include a series of fun and sometimes silly videos for the whole family to enjoy while getting viewers excited for summer and the Summer Reading Program. The watch party will include story times from guest readers, a princess answering West Fargo children’s questions, a police officer versus fireman obstacle course and more. All videos will be available on Facebook and YouTube following the watch party.
To stay up-to-date on all things Summer Reading Program, patrons are encouraged to register their family for the program on Beanstack, like West Fargo Library on Facebook and to keep an eye on www.westfargolibrary.org.