Baltimore County Public Library’s popular Summer Reading Challenge kicks off this Saturday, June 18.
To celebrate the 39th season, the 2022 series will officially launch with a party at the North Point Branch in Dundalk from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Stop by for face painting, balloons, a scavenger hunt, live music and a bunch of familiar faces. The library’s mascot “Sneaks” (a fixture since 1986) will be there. You’ll also find the Baltimore Ravens mascot, Poe, and the Oriole Bird—representing the city’s Major League Baseball team.
All are available for fun photo-ops.
“The Summer Reading Challenge is a vital library program to encourage children to continue learning during the summer months to prevent the summer slide, which is learning loss from one school year to the next,” says library director Sonia Alcántara-Antoine, in a news release.
It’s funded by Rosedale Federal, The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland and Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union, with support from Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library and its donors.
The program runs from June 21 to Aug. 28.
This year’s theme, “Ocean of Possibilities,” explores sea life and conservation through library programs about sea creatures, boats, local waterways and taking care of our planet.
Children participating in the challenge earn points by attending these programs, as well as reading and completing activities. Twenty points gives them a completion prize and entry into the grand prize competition.
To shed light on this year’s theme, BCPL partnered with presenters including the National Aquarium, Eco Adventures and Science Guys of Baltimore. A full list of programs can be found on the library’s website.
Visit your local branch for take-home crafts in July and August.
Several of BCPL’s 19 branches will also offer summer meals for children 18 and younger through a partnership with Good Harvest on Mondays through Fridays, from June 21 to Aug. 23.
The child must be present to receive the meal, which must be eaten onsite. The library cannot accommodate large groups.
The Summer Reading Challenge is available online or with an at-home game board of activities.
“The different options promote equity in education and level the playing field for all students to participate and achieve success,” Alcántara-Antoine adds.
Children can register for online access through Beanstack, which will track their program activities, or download a paper game board in English or Spanish. That board is also available for pickup at all branches and the June 18 kickoff.
Look for more details at bcpl.info.