Durham County Library will celebrate the start of a summer of “Digging Into Reading” with a kickoff at Northgate Mall, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Dozens of booths will be on tap including Scrap Exchange, Paint Savvy, North Carolina Zoo, Museum of Life and Science, Museum of Natural Sciences, a Zumba area, aerialists, storytelling, crafts, a magician, bounce houses for children and adults, Sol Food mobile farm, live music with DJ Pitty Pat, a video game truck, prizes and free RIF books for children.
“This will be the first time the kickoff is held at Northgate Mall,” said Lynne Barnette, Southwest Regional Library manager and Summer Reading committee chair. “We think this will be one of our biggest kickoffs ever, and we’re excited about bringing it out into the community.”
According to the State Library of North Carolina, the number of books read during the summer is consistently related to academic gains. Children in every income group who read six or more books over the summer gained more in reading achievement than children who did not.
To help students make those gains, and to ensure no one misses out of the joys of a good book, Summer Reading encourages everyone to read throughout the season, This year, participants will track their reading online using a new point system. Each minute read is worth one Summer Reading point, and points are also earned for participating in activities such as attending programs and writing book reviews. Up to 1,000 points can be redeemed at any time between Saturday and August 10 for a variety of prizes. A minimum of 600 points enters the reader into a drawing for this year’s grand prizes, which include: a LeapPad and Kindle Fire for children; an iPod Touch, Kindle Fire and Xbox for teens; and an iPad Mini and theatre tickets for adults.
In addition to launching the program in a new venue and introducing a new point system, Summer Reading 2013 includes a number of first-time special events:
• Dig Into Fitness: ChallengeWave, June 15-July 15 – This year, the library is challenging adult summer readers to train their brains by reading and train their bodies by participating in ChallengeWave – a four-week fitness competition co-presented by Durham County Department of Public Health. Participants can sign up to represent their favorite library, and compete against other locations, by recording their fitness activities online. The library team that travels the most virtual miles wins a trophy.
• Dig Into Environmental Science: EPA Village Green Project Launch, June 22 – In a joint project between the Environmental Protection Agency and Durham County, the EPA will install a prototype bench at the South Regional Library (4505 S. Alston Ave.) that reads and records air quality and weather conditions. The Village Green Project will allow members of the public to use their smart phones to get real-time data on air quality. The bench will become operational on June 22 with a ribbon cutting and celebration from 10 a.m. noon.
• Dig Into Sports: Midpoint Rally, July 10 – The library has teamed up with the Durham Bulls to celebrate reading all summer long, including a mid-point rally and celebration held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park at the July 10 home game. Hundreds of Summer Reading participants will receive tickets to the game courtesy of Durham Library Foundation, and the library will shine a spotlight on five fantastic Summer Readers.
• Dig Into Space: First Library in Space, July 10 – Prior to the game, Durham County Library will become the “First Library in Space” by launching a capsule filled with library memorabilia into near space. A helium-filled balloon will lift the capsule from the DBAP centerfield, and multiple cameras will send live-feed video as it races upward. When the capsule reaches a height of about 700 feet, the balloon will expand to more than 50 times its original size, then burst, sending the capsule floating back to earth by parachute.
• Finally, on August 9 and 10, the library will reward everyone for a summer of reading fun with the system-wide grand finale “Celebration of Reading.” There will be more games, music, crafts and refreshments to “dig into,” and the Summer Reading grand prize winners will be announced at each location. Bragtown Library and Family Literacy Center will host its finale on Friday, August 9. The Main Library, East Regional, North Regional, South Regional, Southwest Regional and Stanford L. Warren libraries will host their finales on Saturday, August 10.
Get more information about Summer Reading at durhamcountylibrary.org/summerreading. Registration begins Saturday at the kickoff, and will be open after that date online, or in person at any library location.