Athol Library receives Summer Reading Support grants

  • Athol Public Library’s Emily Boughton, left, and Angela Dumas were awarded grants from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners award to enhance and promote summer reading. Robin Shtulman

Published: 5/2/2019 9:47:26 PM
Modified: 5/2/2019 9:47:15 PM

ATHOL — The Athol Public Library has been selected by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to receive a Summer Support Grant. While summer reading programs are a well-established tradition, libraries offer many other opportunities for learning and fun during the summer months. This grant program supports expanding the concept of summer learning in libraries beyond reading. Public libraries were invited to apply for funds in the range of $500 to $2,000 to carry out a project that promotes youth learning in their community during the summer.

Children’s Librarian Angela Dumas applied for a grant to fund the Library’s use of Beanstack, an online reading tracking program. Dumas will tailor the program to meet the needs of the Athol Public Library’s children’s summer reading program and will train staff in its use. This software is beneficial for young patrons that participate in the national summer reading program to help them keep track of their reading. Children also often enjoy the interactive component of the software; they can earn prizes by completing challenges all while increasing their digital literacy skills.

Emily Boughton, Athol’s Teen Specialist, has received $2,000 toward creating a summer internship program for teens ages 12-18. Area teens are invited to apply for this summer-long experience, in which teens, mentored by Boughton and the library’s assistant director, will plan and execute a culminating experience for participants in the summer reading program.

The selected teens will have the opportunity to explore program ideas based on the summer reading theme and then plan an event based on what they think other local teens and families would be interested in attending. With the summer theme being “A Universe of Stories,” the timing is perfect to explore the fandom universes that teens enjoy. Teens will collaborate to imagine the experience, flesh out the details, create all props and promotional materials, and staff the event at the end of the summer.

The library will have digital and paper applications available from May 1 until May 24 and will then conduct interviews. This is an opportunity for young people to gain valuable interview and work experience while sharing their interests and ideas. Teens selected for participation will be awarded a stipend at the end of the summer.

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