Congratulations, Estes Valley readers! You met the Summer Reading Challenge–and so much more. Read about all the highlights!
by Cheryl Homan-Wendell, Literary Services Librarian
The Estes Valley Library’s outer-space-inspired 2019 Summer Reading Program is now in the record books. Astronaut hats off to you, our community of readers, for all your participation.
Many of you were motivated by our Summer Reading Challenge, announced last May. Could we, as a community, log 238,900 total reading minutes? That’s the distance to the Moon in miles.
Not only did you achieve that mighty goal, you added another 60,000 minutes on top of that—just in case there was any doubt. Truly, a lunar-sized accomplishment.
Readers were also motivated by the constellations of nifty prizes they earned for their reading accomplishments. 370 prizes were handed out to the 4 major age groups: babies, kids, teens, and adults.
Along the way, the Library hosted 15 unique programs geared toward this year’s theme, “A Universe of Stories”, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first Moon landing. Thanks to Estes Park Memorial Observatory for three Stargazing nights—which all filled to capacity.
The “Meet the Astronaut” programs with Loren Shriver were a huge hit with adults and kids alike—our appreciation to Loren, the American Legion Post 119 and Estes Park Internationale Aviation Club.
We offered classes to satisfy your curiosity and pursue lifelong learning, as we ventured beneath evening skies with programs on astrophotography and night birding.
We had 4 book discussions for adults, teens, and kids. One addressed the cosmic question everyone wants to know: “How do you burp in space?”—based on the book of the same title. The answer: very carefully. Kids loved it!
Speaking of kids, one of the most valuable benefits of this program for young readers is avoiding the “summer slide”. Studies have shown that children who read throughout the summer months return to school in the fall not needing the usual “catch-up time” to start back to learning. Our Youth Services team were grateful to join forces with the star-power of the Estes Park Learning Place and the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County to reach more young readers than we ever have before.
We give galactic thanks to our major sponsor: the Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation. Their support assures literacy stays strong and accessible all summer for all readers.
In addition to those named above, we give ‘thank-yous’ to these stellar partners: Estes Park Escape Rooms, Estes Park Schools, the Estes Valley Community Center, the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, Poppy’s Restaurant, Reel Mountain Theater, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, and SummitStone Health Partners.
Whether it’s our local kids doing better in school—or our local adults rediscovering the joys of reading for pleasure—the Summer Reading Program has tangible benefits that last all year long.
Thanks to you, the Estes Valley has made it to the Moon, and beyond. Where will we go next summer? We can’t wait to see. We do amazing things when we all read and look to the stars together.