The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District kicked off its annual Summer Challenge program this week with a first-time partnership with the Clark County School District (CCSD). Summer Challenge is the Library District’s summer learning program that helps local youth beat summer boredom while having a blast and sharpening their academic skills.
With the Library District branches temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Summer Challenge has moved online this year at LVCCLD.org/SummerChallenge. The program runs now through Friday, July 31, 2020.
One of the Library District’s longest running programs, Summer Challenge motivates kids to learn by encouraging them to earn points for prizes. Here’s how it works:
∙ Participating in dozens of activities that can be enjoyed at home. Parents are looking for summer solutions, and they will find tons of unique activity suggestions, which can inspire new hobbies, interests, and abilities at LVCCLD.org/SummerChallenge.
∙ Reading (or being read to) anything they like! The Library District website offers children from birth to grade 12, thousands of online reading options, from eBooks, audio books, magazines, poetry, song lyrics, graphic novels, and comic books to storybooks and picture books for little ones.
∙ Earning points is easy! Summer Challenge participants receive one point for participating in any activity of their choice. Kids & teens will receive one point for every 30 minutes of reading, and babies to 5 year olds receive one point for every book that is read to them. Progress is tracked either on the website or on a paper log.
∙ And did we mention prizes? Each time kids complete a level on their log, they will receive a book prize, and after three levels completed, they are entered for a chance to win prizes at their library branch as well as District-wide grand prizes, including gift cards, Vegas Golden Knights Chance plush toys, and Anytime Pass ticket booklets from the Las Vegas Lights Football Club. Prizes will be awarded in August.
∙ And new this year, CCSD is also sponsoring the #CCSD Photo Contest. Take photos of your CCSD student reading this summer, include their first name and CCSD school, and post it on social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – settings must allow public view) using hashtag #CCSDReads. Post as often as you like for more chances to win. Your photo might be selected to win a prize!
Parents can also find dozens of eResources on LVCCLD.org to help kids practice their skills while having fun, including Socrates, which covers K-8 math, language arts, and science; Muzzy, a popular language-learning course for beginners; and for teens, Treehouse, which teaches coding, and BrainFuse, which provides live online tutoring in a wide range of subjects.
All you need to start downloading and streaming the magic of the library’s website is a FREE library card. For those who currently do not have a library card, they can sign up for a free digital eCard at LVCCLD.org/GetCarded for access to eResources and so much more!
“We are so pleased to be partnering with Dr. Jara and his team at CCSD on our Summer Challenge program,” said Dr. Ron Heezen, executive director of the Library District. “Summer learning makes an enormous difference in helping children retain their academic skills and avoid ‘summer slide.’ Every child, from birth through 12th grade, can benefit from reading (or being read to) and trying new and interesting activities. You never know what might spark a new interest that could last a lifetime.”
“Reading is a fantastic way to keep the mind sharp, especially during the summer break,” said Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. “I encourage all kids to read at least 30 minutes a day as a fun way to spark the imagination and to also learn about new things. Share photos of students reading using #CCSDReads.”
CCSD will be distributing 80,500 Summer Challenge brochures at 32 of the school district’s 46 food distribution sites for students this summer. The Library District will distribute an additional 8,000 brochures through its outreach services efforts. The brochure targets three audiences:
1) Parents, who may have toddlers through high school age at home and are looking for a way to entertain them all;
2) Kids, who can become bored once the novelty of “school’s out” wears off; and
3) Teens, who might be interested in sharpening their scores for graduation and qualifying for trade school or college.
To recapture that library program experience, parents and kids can also tune in to the District’s new YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TheLibraryDistrict. There they will find virtual programming that also qualifies for points for prizes, like storytimes from celebrities such as the Windmill Library’s own Miss Shana, youth services manager at the Library District, as well as Michelle Obama, Rita Moreno, Daisy Ridley, Dolly Parton, Courtney B. Vance, and more. Coming soon, kids will be able to enjoy video STEAM classes, DIY projects and maker experiences, and adults will find classes on business development, health & wellness, food sustainability, financial literacy, social services, early childhood education, literacy, and unemployment assistance and job skills.
There is also a growing Spanish language playlist on the channel, which includes a talk with Jesus Lopez, announcer from the Vegas Golden Knights; and a performance from the Young Artists Orchestra featuring “One Night in Havana.”
“Summer Challenge is a great example of how we have redefined the word ‘library,’” said Dr. Heezen. “Our libraries have become community centers for free access to arts and culture, homework help, Wi-Fi and technology, employment and career assistance, and so much more. And now that we have implemented our curbside pick-up service, parents who do not have access to a computer can call their branch and arrange to pick up books for their children.”
“We look forward to reopening our buildings as soon as it is deemed safe by Governor Sisolak and the Southern Nevada Health District,” he said, “but in the meantime, our website is open to serve you 24/7.”
Make this summer memorable with Summer Challenge and get rewarded for having fun! For full details about Summer Challenge, including how to sign up and a list of activities that kids can do from home, please visit LVCCLD.org/SummerChallenge.