Summer with the Library Keeps Readers of All Ages Engaged with New Platform


(Image | Courtesy of Deschutes Public Library)

Times have changed, but what hasn’t changed is Deschutes Public Library’s commitment to a fun summer reading program. During the months of July and August, Summer with the Library incorporates the popular Beanstack app, with physical activities and reading challenges to do outside and around the house. Library customers can participate to track reading milestones and complete activity badges to be entered into the grand prize drawings.

While Summer with the Library is for people of all ages — children to adults — it takes on new significance for school-age kids this summer. With students being home since March, engaging in reading and literacy during the summer months is more important than ever. Summer with the Library is an interactive way to help ensure children retain reading and learning skills over summer vacation, curving the “summer slide,” which typically happens when kids are out of school and they lose some of the reading gains made during the academic year. 

“We’re grateful to The Roundhouse Foundation for their generosity, which allows us to pivot the Summer Reading program and make it accessible online,” says Todd Dunkelberg, executive director of Deschutes Public Library. “We know peoples’ lives are still in flux, and this allows us to move the program forward in a dynamic new way.”

Each week, a new set of activities and reading challenges introduced through the app allows participants to earn badges. For example, activities include trying a new word game, eating a vegetable for seven days, identifying a constellation in the night sky or enjoying one minute of stillness. Badges can also be earned through reading challenges, such as choosing a book by its cover or reading a graphic novel. Also new this year are virtual programs for kids and teens, featuring STEAM activities released each week via Deschutes Public Library’s YouTube channel.

Summer with the Library takes place July 1 – August 31 with the grand-prize winners announced after Labor Day. Prizes include gift cards and — new this year — eReader tablets, which are donated by Bend Masonic Lodge #139. The program is free and open to all ages, and all participants get a prize at the end.

To take part, download the Beanstack app through the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android), or access the Beanstack website from your computer’s browser. Summer with the Library (Verano con la Biblioteca) is also available in Spanish. Enrollment begins on July 1.

Learn more at Participants can share their Summer with the Library adventure by tagging the library on social media and by using the #SummerwithDPL hashtag.


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