Bulletins boards are hung around the Herndon Fortnightly to encourage children to read a wide array of award winning books.
Photo by Erin Murphy/The Connection
The Summer Reading Challenge is held from June 23 to Sept. 3. Children from birth to third grade read 15 books, from fourth to sixth grade read 10 books, and students in grades seven through 12 read six books to successfully complete the challenge. The reading list provided by the Herndon Fortnightly Library is not required for the challenge, allowing participants to chose any books they find enjoyable to read and record for the Challenge.
The theme for the Reading Challenge this year is “Read for the Win” in the spirit of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Participants must return their reading log to the Herndon Fortnightly by Sept. 3 to receive a coupon book full of free offers and discounted prices. One coupon books is given per reader.
Located on the ground floor of the library is a bulletin board that outlines the Award-winning books that won a spot on the Herndon Fortnightly book list categorized into Fiction, Non-fiction, Latin writing, Social Justice and more to inspire kids to read more books of note.
“Reading just expands your world. It expands your knowledge, it keeps your brain engaged. It helps you make connections with the world, with your own life and with others. I think it gives you empathy,” said Molly Dunn, use services assistant at Herndon Fortnightly Library. “I really think reading helps you connect to others, to yourself, and to the greater world which enhances an understanding of everything. It just helps you as a citizen function better.”
Dunn explained the numerous incentives offered by the Herndon Fortnightly to keep the kids in the library, and keep them reading.
The Library, in addition to the challenge, is offering a guestimation game each week for nine weeks where the kids have to guess the number of pieces of candy in a jar. The child whose guess is the closest to the number of pieces of candy wins all the candy in the jar.
Herndon Fortnightly librarians also give book talks to local elementary schools where they also took their therapy dog, Truman who children can come read to once a week at the library.
The Herndon Fortnightly is also coordinating with Fairfax County Public Schools’ reading program, which gives participants a bingo card to fill out with squares such as a Non-Fiction or a Fiction book. With the goal to make reading seem enjoyable and fun for children, the Library in addition to these incentives offers a book list to help parents find the perfect book for their child.
“Basically, the goal is to get them into the library as much as possible and primarily, to just read all summer. And to emphasize that reading is enjoyable, it’s not just a chore,” said Dunn.
From Dunn’s observations, primarily elementary school students have signed up for the program because that’s where the Fortnightly librarians gave book talks. Also, Fairfax County has two contests for students that incentivize younger children to take the big step into the library and read.
The Art contest, where this year participants will be designing cover of an award-winning book. The Essay contest instructs participants to write an essay on the theme “Why Vote?”