Teens and adults will receive a “Read Like a Local” bandana just for entering the Grand County Public Library Summer Reading Challenge. [Courtesy of Grand County Public Library]

Get ready to crack those books and compete for prizes with the Grand County Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge. This year the entire community is encouraged to participate, logging their time spent reading in order to support those in need.

“Through our Read to Feed program, when our community reads a total of 50,000 minutes, Moonflower Market and City Market will each generously contribute $500 to the Grand County Food Bank,” said children’s librarian Adrea Lund.

Lund said that the Read to Feed Community-Wide Reading Goal combines two of the library’s primary goals: increasing summer reading in the community while also supporting community members suffering food insecurity due to “unemployment and lack of tourism funds coming into our community due to COVID-19.”

The Grand County Public Library keeps adapting to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the summer reading challenge is no different.

Usually the summer challenges, in which library patrons are challenged to read more books of all different genres, is put together on paper and in person.

“Obviously that wouldn’t be appropriate, so we’re innovating!” said Lund

This summer, for the first time, readers can show off all the time they and their family members spend reading via an app on their phone or by logging on to the library’s summer challenge website. Lund reported that the program was made possible by a grant from the Utah State Library Division and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Readers may now track their progress online with the library’s Beanstack summer challenge website at www.grandcountyutah.beanstack.org or by downloading the Beanstack Tracker app.

“Logging reading minutes is really easy using the app,” said Lund, noting that the app includes a timer for younger readers.

Lund said that the intention behind the summer reading program was originally to keep schoolchildren reading through the summer, but all residents are welcome and encouraged to participate.

People can enter the challenge at four different levels: one for babies and toddlers, one for children ages three to 12, one for teens and an adult category. Those on edge of a category, like tweens or 17-year-olds, can pick which one best represents them. Younger readers may count time reading, or being read to, toward their total reading minutes.

This year’s theme is “Imagine your own story” and each challenge comes with activities and questions for readers of all ages to engage with.

Adult readers will earn virtual badges and raffle tickets for prizes like gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. Adults may include time spent reading to children and/or listening to audiobooks. Teens could win exciting prizes like an Oculus Go or a Kindle Fire tablet.

Prizes for children include rainbow headbands and LEGO sets. Families with small children may win picture books or even their own rubber duckie.

Just for signing up, teens and adults will receive a “Read Like a Local” bandana and sticker.

To join the reading challenge or see a count of how many minutes the community has read, go to www.tinyurl.com/gcpl2020

Library launches summer reading challenge for entire community

“When our community reads a total of 50,000 minutes, Moonflower Market and City Market will each generously contribute $500 to the Grand County Food Bank.”

– Adrea Lund

June 1 to Aug. 16

Reading levels include babies and toddlers, children ages three to 12, teens and adults

Join or learn more at www.tinyurl.com/gcpl2020

For more information, call (435) 259-1111