Summer reading plays a critical role in helping youth improve reading skills, develop academically, and prepare for a successful school year, while also staving off learning losses associated with the ‘summer slide.’ For this reason, the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library places an emphasis on providing all Takoma Park youth with opportunities to read throughout the summer with fun, creative, and interactive programs and events.

The flagship summer reading program is SummerQuest, sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library. Library associate Dave Burbank creates an adventure story with 10 embedded reading challenges.

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This summer, over 150 Takoma Park youth embarked upon the “Once Upon a Time” adventure story, a premise in which SummerQuest participants got the opportunity to get lost in books. As participants completed each reading challenge, they moved along a giant Game Board in the Children’s Room in the Library. All participants received a miniature copy of the Game Board, plus a copy of the story, to take home.

While geared toward young readers, SummerQuest was also adaptable for teens and adults, who could use the reading challenges as a guide as well. Among the challenges: “Read a book that shows you how to make or do something, and then make or do it,” “Read an award-winning book,” and “Read a book about someone different than you.”

In addition to sponsoring the SummerQuest program, the Friends of the Takoma Park Library kept young readers engaged with the library through a variety of fun reading activities throughout the summer.

Thanks to Francis Nugent for this report.
Photos: Maurice Belanger

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