Alexandria Library Summer Reading Program Offers Fun Activities for All
Alexandria Library’s SummerQuest 2023 program encourages children, teens and families to make reading part of their daily lives. “The ‘All Together Now’ theme reflects our goal of empowering and providing a free public space for communities to come together, have fun and learn,” Central Library Youth Services Manager Michelle Biwer said.
SummerQuest 2023 offers reading incentives with points earned by reading, engaging in community events or participating in library programs through Aug. 31, 2023. SummerQuest is for rising first through fifth graders. Younger children can participate in SummerQuest Jr., and rising sixth through twelfth graders can participate in SummerQuest Teen. Visit the Alexandria Library SummerQuest webpage to access the activity logs in Spanish, Amharic, Arabic and Dari.
“Kids who love reading become adults who love reading. SummerQuest is special because we encourage kids to read anything they want in any language they'd like,” Biwer noted. Students can check out books, track their reading and turn in an activity log that indicates how much time they spent reading.
“With SummerQuest, we try to create an inclusive and fun space to encourage the joy of reading, which in turn helps prevent summer learning loss as students practice those skills,” Biwer said. “For SummerQuest Jr., our program for birth to children who will start kindergarten in the fall, caregivers are reading books to their kids, and research shows this is very important in ensuring kids are ready for kindergarten.”
One of the goals of Alexandria Library is to support learners of all ages. The public library system provides the opportunity to read for pleasure, while also accessing professional research assistance. Fun and educational classes are also offered from partner institutions such as the National Aquarium.
Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students have access to the Alexandria Library through ConnectEd cards, which are public library cards automatically given to all registered ACPS students.
“ConnectEd cards are distributed to students by their school librarians as part of a collaborative effort to increase access to books and learning resources outside of the school day, all year long,” ACPS Instructional Coordinator for Libraries and Curricular Resources Kaycie Hoffman Blaylock explained. “One of the main focuses of library programs, whether school or public, is the ability to choose your own books. A lifelong love of reading comes from reading what you want to, and there is no better time than summer when you have more of those opportunities! So read what makes you happy.”
“I think the public library continues to be a pillar in the community,” Biwer said. She explained that public libraries operate as one of the few public safe spaces where everyone is welcome with no charge. Biwer added that Alexandria Library has a long history of working with the city's most vulnerable populations to provide much-needed services such as Wi-Fi access, computer classes, literacy programs and English language classes.