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Stanly County libraries hold summer reading challenge

By Imari Scarbrough
for the SNAP

Stanly County kids will have the chance to earn prizes for reading this summer.
The Stanly County Public Library system will hold its 2018 summer reading challenge with the theme “Libraries Rock!”
The branches will continue to have their normal programs, including children’s crafts and reading sessions and playing children’s movies. In addition to those programs, kids can register for the summer reading challenge.
According to Albemarle children’s librarian Sara Hahn, the challenge will be divided into three age groups: babies up to age 2, youth and teenagers.
Participants in the older two categories will receive a bookmark and a reading record to write down the names of the books they read.
Babies and toddlers will not need to register.
“They just get a sheet with a checklist of things to do, such as read an ABC book, sing the alphabet song, etc.,” Hahn said. “When they complete that checklist for the summer they’ll get a tambourine.”
In the youth group, children can read to earn points they can use to collect raffle tickets. They can get one raffle ticket with 10 points, a second with 25 points and a third ticket when they reach 40 points. Books categorized as easy or beginning reader books will earn children one point each, while juvenile and juvenile non-fiction books will net them three points each.
If a child fills up a reading record, they can pick up another sheet at the library.
“Kids can have up to three chances to win,” Hahn said. “When they hit 40 points, they’ve topped out. They can each have up to three raffle tickets in the drawing, so the more you read, the more chances you have of winning the prize.”
The prize will include book and DVD sets for multiple age groups, LEGO sets and Sweet Frog gift certificates. These prizes will be appropriate for about ages 3 to 12.
Teens will have a chance to win one of four Kindle Fire devices that will be raffled off. They will earn tickets based on the number of pages they read rather than by a point system, earning one raffle ticket for reading 400 pages, one for 800 and a final ticket after they read 1,200 pages.
Children can read books, and babies and toddlers can complete activities on their checklist, at home or during library programs.
“If they come to story time and we read three picture books, they can count those titles,” Hahn said.
Youth and teen prizes will be raffled off at the end of July. The Albemarle branch will be the default pickup location for winners to receive their prizes; while the library can send prizes to other branches, it may take a few days to arrive, Hahn said.

Other programs

Hahn said she made it her goal to have an activity at one or more locations each weekday in June and July.
As part of the theme, “Libraries Rock!”, the libraries will hold Art Rocks!, Preparedness Rocks!, Recycling Rocks!, Nature Rocks!, Rhythm Rocks!, Music Rocks!, Painting Rocks Rocks! and Classical Instruments Rock! at various branches.
“Art Rocks! is going to be with local artist Kevin Smith,” Hahn said. “He’s going to show them different techniques for drawing and painting. Preparedness Rocks! is through the American Red Cross and it’s about natural disaster preparedness. Recycling Rocks! is with the city of Albemarle and he’s just going to explain the ins and outs of recycling.”
The kids will also get a taste of nature.
“Nature Rocks! is going to be with the Morrow Mountain State Park rangers,” Hahn said. “They are going to bring animal tracks, snake skins and things like that to show them different parts of nature and talk to them about nature in Stanly County.”
Music Rocks!, Rhythm Rocks! and Classical Instruments Rock! will all be led by various staff members from Music on Main.
“They’ll discuss rhythm, music and show and demonstrating different instruments,” Hahn said.
Painting Rocks Rocks! will be led by members of Stanly County Rocks. The group paints rocks with encouraging messages and leaves them around town.
“Kids will actually be able to paint their own rocks to hide around town to spread positivity and encouragement,” Hahn said.
The Friends of the Stanly County Library paid for the reading challenge prizes and also paid for the Summer Reading Extravaganza event on June 18.
The children’s band Big Bang Boom! will play at 10 a.m. June 18 at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center. The band will perform silly children’s songs.
“It’s basically going to be a kids’ concert for them to sing and dance and have a good time,” Hahn said.
Teens will also have a special event this year: a video contest about the library’s 2018 slogan, “Libraries Rock!”
Entries will provide the creator’s interpretation of that slogan and will be 30-90 seconds long.
They should be emailed to shahn@stanlycountylibrary.org with the subject heading “Teen Video Contest – Libraries Rock.” The first-, second- and third-place winners will receive a gift card.
All events, including the band performance, will be free for participants.
Registration for the reading challenge is underway. There is no deadline to register, though earlier participants will have a longer time to complete their goals to try and earn prizes.
For more information, contact your closest library:
• Albemarle: 704-986-3758;
• Badin: 704-422-3218;
• Locust: 704-888-0103;
• Norwood: 704-474-3625; and
• Oakboro: 704-485-4310.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.