Summer Quest Success!

     Summer Quest, the program title for library activities for all ages this summer in Adams County is wrapping up.  We are excited to have been able to provide this gateway to exploration for the Adams County community.  Previously called Summer Reading, the program is now referred to as Summer Quest, in order to highlight an increased emphasis on activities that, in addition to reading, strengthen literacy skills.  The program ran from June 1 to August 12 this year.
     The name change was not the only new feature. Online registration, and logging of reading and activities, was new this year as well. Using a software called Beanstack, participants could easily register for the program online, and track their progress toward certain milestones, which resulted in prizes available at their library.  Not only could you record your minutes read and activities completed, you could submit reviews and receive reading recommendations, based on your age and any other preferences you wished to share.  An opportunity to pre-register online prior to the June 1 date was offered as well, beginning May 21.
     The ease of registration and participation, combined with incentives and programming resulted in more than 1700 participants across three age ranges (Early Learner, Elementary and Middle School, and Teens)  Wow!
     Prizes received for reaching the milestones referenced above included a variety of food coupons, as well opportunities for family outings at local sports events.  McDonald’s, KFC/Taco Bell, Rita’s Ice, Mr. G’s Ice Cream, Hickory Falls, Hanover Bowling, and Explore and More all graciously partnered with us to offer incentives.  The Harrisburg Senator’s Baseball Team and the Hershey Bears Hockey Team provided free tickets for upcoming games.  And the York Revolution has specified Sunday, September 2nd, as Adams County Library 800 minute readers day.  All participants who reach the 800 minute mark were given a free ticket to the game, a chance to participate in a pre-game parade around the field, and one lucky person will be chosen to throw out the first pitch that day. 
     As in years past, the incentives were only part of the fun of the program.  Hundreds of events took place across the county at our six locations.  Weekly storytime and craft programs were staples at many of the branches.  In addition, bigger entertainment and educational programs were featured.  All libraries played host to musician Mark DeRose, storyteller Beth Rebert, Creatures Great and Small (live animals), a STEMobile program offered by the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, and a special music and story combination by our own Bridgid Mangan.  
     Students had the opportunity to see award-winning author Beth Vrabel, who presented a program highlighting one of her most recent titles, Caleb & Kit.  The first fifty students to register received a free copy of the book.  Many of those same students stayed to participate in a writing workshop conducted by the author.
     If that wasn’t enough activity, we once again partnered with Wellspan to present the GO (Get Outdoors) Adams program, in which participants can explore Adams County by finding fifteen posts placed in local parks and other locations, and making rubbings of the symbols on the posts.  Rubbing sheets are then returned for chances to win prizes.
     It was all kicked with our third annual FunFest  family event at the Gettysburg Recreation Park on Friday, June 8, which more than 2000 attendees were treated to  free family activities, entertainment, face-painting, balloon sculptures, and much more, as well as introducing families to a variety of organizations that provide activities and services in Adams County.
     So, to all of our Summer Questers, we say, Great Job!  And to all of our sponsors and partners, we are grateful for your support of our efforts to make a difference in the lives of families in Adams County, and say Thank You!
     For further information, check our website at www.adamslibrary.org or call us at 717-334-5716.

Submitted by George Matthew, Youth Services Coordinator.