What is SummerQuest you ask?  SummerQuest is library events, take & Makes, Digital Story Times, Go Adams and many other fun things that will keep children of all ages reading over the summer.  
     Why do we want children reading over the summer?  We need to prevent the Summer Slide, which is a concept that has been researched since 1996.  Studies show that children lose significant knowledge in reading and math over the summer months.  A 2020 study by NWEA of children in 3rd thru 5th grade shows that students lost an average of about 20 percent of the gains they had made from the previous school year in reading and 27 percent in math.  Children who have just finished the younger years such as Kindergarten, first and second grade are much more likely to slide.  In these early years children are just learning the skills they need to read like decoding, letter knowledge and word reading skills.  Without frequent practice children fall behind.  This happens with math basic addition and subtraction skills as well.
So what do we do?  We make reading fun!  Allow your children to choose their own books.  The freedom to choose their own books will ensure it is something they have an interest in. Take time in your week for ‘smart play’  by bringing out a game or puzzle, playing a game like PayDay or Monopoly will get them using those math skills and not even realizing it.  Get out of the house and visit a new place.  Different surroundings will stimulate different parts of your child’s brain.  Maybe visit a place that was in one of the books they read.  Encourage pretend play, making us a story or puppet show will stimulate your child’s imagination and help to expand their vocabulary.
     How can the Adams County Library System help?  SummerQuest will get your child active and reading.  Beginning on May 21st you may go online and register at www.adamslibrary.org/summerquest.  Track the time your child is reading on the Beanstack webpage or app.  For every 200 minutes read your child will be eligible for a prize.  On the ACLS website events page you will see the many fun virtual programs available for children of all ages.  Pre-Recorded story times for baby and toddlers as well as pre-schoolers can be found on the Adams County Library System YouTube page.  You will also find an All In story time and a bilingual story time for everyone.  Through the events calendar you can pre-register for any of the live Zoom events which include:  National Aquarium, Zoo America, Ryan “the BugMan”, Jesse Rothacker of Forgotten Friends Reptile Sanctuary, Didgeridoo Down Under, Mommy to Clown show, Nixon Park, Virtual Talewise: Unicorn show by A ScienceTeller’s Company and Story times with ACLS staff.  To get the whole family outside we have, again, partnered with WellSpan for our Go Adams, where you will be able to visit parks throughout Adams County to find 15 different posts.  Each library in ACLS will have Take & Make activities and some will have StoryWalks® posted outside.  There are also many activities for teens.  There will be a photo contest and virtual escape room as well as tiny art kits, 2D & 3D animation workshop and Magic Card Tricks taught by Magician Mike Rose.

Visit any of the six libraries in ACLS this summer and check out all the fun activities on our website at www.adamslibrary.org/summerquest.  We can’t wait to see you!

Submitted by Sherry Feeser, Youth Services Coordinator