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Imagine Your Story: Summer Reading Program kicks off this week for kids, teens
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Imagine Your Story: Summer Reading Program kicks off this week for kids, teens

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Only $5 for 5 months

Even though it may look a little different this year, the McDowell County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is back and ready for McDowell youngsters to work on their reading skills while having fun.

This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Kids and teens will have the opportunity to win prizes and do take-and-make crafts while they log their reading time throughout the summer. This is a free service offered to the community. Reading logs have been distributed throughout the community and through local food drives. They also can be printed at, or picked up at the Marion library starting Monday, and at the Old Fort Library on Tuesday.

On Monday, kids and teens can start their reading logs for the Summer Reading Program, and crafts packages will be distributed starting Tuesday at the Marion and Old Fort branches.

For KidsOn the kids reading log, for every 10 minutes they read, they place a sticker on one of the circles. For every 12 stickers placed on the log, they will receive a raffle ticket. Reading logs are due back on August 8, and kids can fill up as many reading logs as they want.

This year, the library is teaming up with the Beanstack app to log reading times and receive virtual raffle tickets. Sign up online for that service by visiting or download the app and look for McDowell County Public Library.

“If you are using the Beanstack app, you won’t have to worry about the reading log or picking up raffle tickets,” said Children’s Library Assistant Megan Martin. “The app will track it all.”

The raffle tickets will be entered into a drawing on August 14 for a prize basket and the grand prize raffle. This year’s grand prize is an Amazon Kindle Fire. Winners will be chosen from Old Fort and Marion.

Another way to earn raffle tickets for kids is to complete the different activities at home with take-and-make craft bags. One for kids ages 0-5, called Crafts for Little Hands, and the other, Crafty Thursdays, is for kids from 5-10.

Crafts for Little Hands includes creating a superhero cuff, designing their own castle, making a crown and designing a shield. For the older kids they will have a bingo sheet, flying dragon paper airplane, design a shield and build a catapult. All materials and instructions are included, plus a few extras.

“We are really excited to distribute these crafts to the kids of all ages, and we sure hope they enjoy them,” said Martin. “Although we can’t be together this year, we hope that kids will continue to read and have fun with the activities. There are some great prizes up for grabs.”

Martin and Danielle Tilson, children’s library assistant in Old Fort, have continued their weekly story time virtually on the McDowell County Public Library Facebook page. The videos are posted on Wednesday mornings. Tilson will post examples of the crafts at the end of each story time.

For TeensRising sixth graders and older will have to read eight hours to fill up a reading log to be eligible for raffle tickets and the grand prize. Each square on the teen reading log represents one hour of reading. Reading logs will need to be turned in by August 7 to be eligible for the grand prize of a $50 gift card. Second place will be a basket of books. The drawing will be on August 11.

“The idea is to get them to spend one hour a week reading,” said Richard. “They can read whatever they want to read, as long as they are reading.”

Teens will also have a ton of fun with their take-and-make crafts which can be counted toward an hour on their reading log. New take-and-make crafts will be available every Tuesday at the Marion and Old Fort branches. All materials and instructions are provided. Only a certain amount of bags are available, and three of the crafts have a very special prize inside. Teens will have a chance to win the books, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” by J.K. Rowling, “Eragon” by Kristopher Paolini and “Creative Marker Art and Beyond,” by Lee Foster-Wilson.

“Whoever gets the certificate in their take-and-make bags, will win the books,” said Richard. “Treats are also available in the bags. Our teens that regularly come to the programs are really creative, and hopefully this will encourage them to do their own art.”

Their crafts included creating a bowtruckle, designing their own mask, sun catchers, fans, dragon eggs, origami dragons, fun and games and stained glass.

A schedule with all the information is posted at or visit our outside table for more information. Call 652-3858 or 668-7111 for more information.

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