Adventure Begins at Your Library with Prince William Public Libraries

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By Katrina Wilson | Sponsored by Prince William Public Libraries

Prince William Public Libraries started Summer Reading on June 10 and will conclude on Aug. 11. “Adventure Begins at Your Library!” is this year’s theme and it will allow readers of all ages to obtain prizes while exploring new worlds, dimensions and igniting their imagination.

Participants can pick up a Summer Reading Tracker bookmark at any of their 12 libraries. People can register online at pwcva.gov/library or through the Beanstack Tracker app.

“You’ll get a prize just for signing up!” said Rachel Johnson, Communications and Marketing Director.

After reading a total of 500 minutes – that’s just 20 minutes a day for 25 days – come into your local library to pick out a free book to keep and be entered into a prize drawing.

Something new in 2024 – adults can also pick out a book after reading for 500 minutes.

“We’ve heard from a few adults who are excited to receive a free book to keep, and to be included in that part of Summer Reading,” Johnson said.

She said while Summer Reading is all about fun and adventure, it’s also an important strategy to keep minds sharp.

“It helps prevent the ‘Summer Slide,’ where students can lose academic ground during the summer break,” Johnson said. “Regular reading enhances vocabulary and fosters a lifelong love of learning.”

Listen to the Summer Reading episode of PWPL’s “Important Library Stuff” podcast for more on this year’s program. The PWPL podcast discussed how reluctant readers can read magazines, graphic novels or audiobooks. Perhaps even books they never thought they would read!

Summer Reading for All Ages

Free programs and events that are returning favorites for younger visitors include Dinosaurs with Dinoman and Sing Books with Emily. New programs like Creepy Crawly Critters and Mobile STEM Lab will be available. Visit their online calendar for more details.

Teens can see programs offered specifically for grades 6 to 12 in PWPL’s Explore Magazine beginning on page 18.

Young visitors enjoy petting goats and alpacas at Central Library’s Summer Kick-Off event.

Johnson said they can go to the Online Events Calendar at pwcva.gov/library and – in the top section – click “Age Group,” then click their desired age group to filter the programs. A few activities are Escape with Pippa Park, Dungeons & Dragons for Teens and Teen Cupcake Challenge.

For those in search of an ominous Summer Reading activity, Summer Scares! is for ages eight and up.

“Summer Scares is brought to you by the Horror Writers Association, which chooses nine books for middle-grade, teens and adult readers to start you on a scary summer adventure,” she said.

From July 1 to 31, readers can look for interactive horror book displays and submit reviews for spooky prize giveaways at participating libraries: Bull Run, Central, Chinn Park, Haymarket Gainesville, Manassas City, Montclair, Nokesville and Potomac.

Katrina Wilson is a contributing writer for Prince William Living.

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