By Elisa Murray for Seattle Public Library
School might be finished for the year, but keeping kids engaged in learning over the summer is even more important in the time of COVID-19.
With a theme of “Every Day is Earth Day,” The Seattle Public Library has just launched a version of its 101-year-old Summer of Learning program that adapts to the realities of socially distanced life, while still working to slow learning loss and engage kids in hands-on activities all summer long.
Kids can already download a reading log card, available in multiple languages, which encourages them to set a reading goal and track their progress. Teens have their own reading challenge. Teens can work towards bingo using not just books but audiobooks, articles, graphic novels, podcasts or fan fiction.
Starting Monday, June 22, kids and teens can pick up reading logs and challenge cards at Seattle Public Schools meal sites and other locations around Seattle.
In recent years, free performances and workshops by teaching artists have become a big part of Summer of Learning. While all programs will be virtual this year, they will be anything but sedentary. Teaching artists who reflect Seattle’s rich cultural communities are recording short, action-oriented videos that focus on engaging rather than performing, on topics such as magic, Brazilian drumming and soap carving.
The Seattle Public Library’s online summer programming will also include virtual story times, STEAM activities by children’s librarians, artists’ demonstrations and neighborhood scavenger hunts. The videos will be highly interactive, engaging children’s brains and bodies, often using everyday materials. All Summer of Learning programs will be listed on the library event calendar, and videos will be available on the Library’s Kids’ YouTube channel, starting July 1.
The Library also has numerous ways for kids to discover books that are a good fit for them, from the Your Next Five service to staff picks and e-book collections.
Don’t have a library card? No problem. Seattle Public Schools students can access all digital library resources, including thousands of free e-books, through the Library Link partnership with Seattle Public Schools. People over the age of 13 can sign up for a digital card in minutes at spl.org/card.
Adults can also get in on the summer reading fun. Download your Book Bingo card to start filling in your challenge squares.
And if you’re wondering when other Library services will start again, the Library has just posted information about its phased plan (including returns, holds and curbside service).