Local libraries create virtual summer reading program

Their buildings may be closed to little readers, but the children’s librarians in Columbus and Starkville haven’t forgotten their kids.

Reading is such a fundamental part of every child’s development. That’s why local libraries are connecting with students to make sure they don’t fall behind.

Loraine Walker is a Children’s Librarian for Starkville Public Library. She said her department has created a Virtual Reading Program.

“So many things are up in the air for the kids’ schools, just their regular things are not available and things are different. I wanted to be a constant for them,” said Walker.

Walker said after each video, families could select literacy exercises, arts and crafts, and other activities based on the daily story.

“It’s a fun thing that can keep them involved. So every day when they do that they’re involved with more than just watching something. And they can interact with their library friends also,” said Walker.

Tori Hopper with Columbus-Lowndes Public Library said their reading program followed a similar model, except they used a website called “BeanStack.”

“They can just go ahead and do some activities that are educational depending on their age group. Then we can log their reading minutes based on the badges that they earned. And we’ll be providing paper options for those who can’t access the internet at home,” said Hopper.

Participants could listen to stories and log the number of books they’ve read.

“It’s an avenue for them to keep reading and to keep exposing themselves to educational opportunities that they already been doing inside the safety of their own homes and away from large groups of people. We’re just trying to continue that opportunity for them in a new and inventive way,” said Hopper.

And hopefully, students will learn effectively using the virtual program.

“I’ll do anything for my kids. Anything to make it fun for them and more fun for them to watch,” said Walker.

Hopper and Walker said families can find activities for their children on their FaceBook page and library website.

The Bean stack website will launch in a few weeks.

Categories: Coronavirus Information, Featured, Local News

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