The Athens Regional Library System invites readers of all ages to enjoy a summer of reading fun for the whole family with the 2020 Summer Reading Program, “Imagine Your Story,” Monday, June 1, through July 31.

This year’s summer reading program will take place online. Children, teens and adults can sign up for the free program at the library system’s website, athenslibrary.org. Patrons can check out digital eBooks, audiobooks and magazines for all ages at the library’s website and place holds for curbside pickup at their local library branch, which can be picked up Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Children who don’t practice reading skills over the summer can lose up to three months of reading ability. We offer summer reading programs each year to support families as they experience the joy of reading while having fun together,” explained Athens Regional Library System Children' Services Coordinator Evan Michael Bush.

Patrons will use the free online platform Beanstack to keep track of Summer Reading Program participation, from logging reading to completing other activities, including attending virtual programs. Beanstack is available as a website or as an app you can download from your mobile device’s app store. Besides making reading logs a snap, Beanstack offers lots of fun things to do and virtual badges for all ages. Each age group has its own set of benchmarks and challenges to earn different prizes, which can be collected from your local library branch at the end of the summer.

Children ages birth to 7 can earn prizes by reading 50 books and completing four activity badges of their choice. Children ages 8-11 must also complete four badges and log 25 hours of reading. There are many badge categories, from nature and indoor games to fairy tales and animals; even spooky stories!

Teens who read three books and complete three virtual challenges of their choice will be entered to win a $50 Visa gift card at their local library branch. Challenges include exploring short stories, learning about online safety and more.

Adults who read six books and complete two activities from each of six challenges to be entered to win gift cards and a grand prize. There are also challenges for cooking, crafts, fairy tales for adults and classic Gothic works, along with learning about the 19th Constitutional amendment, virtually exploring the local area and more.

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