Monticello library to kick off Summer Reading

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The theme for the 2023 Summer Reading Program (SRP) is “Find Your Voice.”

   “Our voices have power. We use our voices to share stories, express ourselves, and spark change. Our voices include not only the sounds we make, but the words we write, the art we create, the movements we perform, and the actions we take each day to impact our world,” states iRead, a non-profit through the Illinois Library Association (ILA).

   Kickoff for the SRP at the Monticello Public Library is Monday, June 5.

   “You can sign up any time; there is no cut-off,” offered Monticello Librarian Penny Schmit. “We know families are busy.”

   As in the past, SRP participants will use the READsquared mobile app to keep track of logging their reading time and completing various missions, all in an effort to earn points toward prizes. (You can also pick up a paper log at the library if you prefer.)

   There are four different age divisions:

   • 0-6, early literacy

   • 6-11, grade school

   • 11-18, tweens and teens

   • 18-plus, adults

   Using the app, there are two different reading logs for all ages to earn points:

   • The reading log is used to keep track of how many books you read or how many minutes you spend reading.

   Schmit said those ages 6 and under typically keep track of number of books read; older readers go by minutes read.

   • The mission log provides you with different activities at home or throughout the community you can complete.

   Examples might be “take a walk for your health,” “visit the storywalk,” or “eat a healthy snack.”

   Prizes will be awarded to those who reach various benchmarks, earning 200, 500, 700, and 1,000 points. Participants will receive smaller prizes at these levels, such as bubbles, a mini sand pail and shovel, pop-it keychains, personal notebooks, bookmarks, keychains, and Great Jones County Fair day passes.

   Those who earn points can use those appoints to “purchase” chances toward some of the bigger, grand prizes. Schmit said this allows readers to pick a grand prize of their choosing rather than receive something they may not want.

   Some of the grand prizes include: A package to AirFX Trampoline Park, a bicycle donated by Jones Regional Medical Center, concerts tickets to the GJCF, earrings donated by Keleher’s Jewelry, a gift basket from JK Ross, a movie night bundle, a gift certificate to Terminal Lance Arms for fishing equipment, and more.

   There are lots of events and activities planned throughout the SRP at the library. A full calendar can be found at the library’s website: Some of the highlights include:

   • ECICOG Presents Made by Maxine, teaching kids about making something new out of something old

   • Jones County Conservation will read stories about and explore different animal sounds

   • Mikayla Oz, a magician

   • Twisted Bo-kay, reading an interactive story where the audience becomes part of the story through the use of balloon art

   • Cold-blooded Read Head, sharing some amazing creatures

   • Rock painting

   • Blu Track, demonstrating how to build racetracks

   There will also be several reoccurring SRP events such as Crafty Mondays, Lunch Bunch Brick Building, Storytime, Friday Flicks, Thursday Teen Events, Senior Gaming, Monticello Reads, and Boasts & Toasts.

   Be sure to add to special dates to your summer calendar…

   • Thursday, July 27, a teen pool party for those in grades 5-12

   • Tuesday, Aug. 1, “End of SRP Blast.”

   This event is open to all ages and families, and will take place in the greenspace at Depot Park, next to the former Regions Bank.

   The popular Mega Foam Blaster will be back again this year. There will also be food, snacks, and water.

   This occasion is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and Main Street Monticello.

   Registration is not required for any of the SRP events.

   For more details on the SRP, contact the Monticello library at 319-465-3354.


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