Kern County Libraries Celebrate the Finale of their Summer Reading Challenge

July 29, 2022 /

All 22 libraries in the Kern County Library system are beginning to wrap up their annual Summer Reading Challenge that kicked off early summer, with many receiving prizes and awards.

On June 1st, the Kern County Library began their annual Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme was “Read Beyond the Beaten Path”, with libraries turning into small “summer camps” and promoting stories about the outdoors. The Summer Reading Challenge gives the people of Kern County a chance to participate in summer literacy, especially young children. Many parents sign up their kids in order to not let them fall behind on their literacy and get their kids to have a love for reading, and parents also take part in the event to set an example.

Over the years, Kern County has struggled with poor literacy rates. According to the Kern Literacy Council, 13.9% of adults in Kern County lack the basic literacy skills needed to perform everyday jobs, and 15% of adults have not obtained a 9th-grade literacy level.

 Because of these illiteracy rates, many organizations in Kern County have teamed up to help increase the rates of literacy, as well as to not let children fall behind in literacy in the future. The Kern Literacy Council, for example, provides tutoring to others who need to boost their literacy skills.

“It’s fun to see so many people participate and come over to the library. It’s always a pleasure to do these things.”, says Sonia Patino, one of the librarians at the Arvin Library Branch. In order to complete the challenge, one had to either read 10 books or read for at least 10 hours.  

The Summer Reading Challenge ends this July 31st, and many libraries have already started to do fun, all-day events in order to celebrate the finale of the challenge. From storytime, coloring, and bead-bracelet making, many readers, young and old, enjoyed their time with these events.

 As young Isabella Garcia said, “It has been the best day ever! I can’t get enough of the fun games here in the library!”

At the Arvin Library, those who completed the challenge were put into a raffle where they could get the chance to win prizes. There were a total of 7 winners, including Maria C. Medrano, Gabriela Gallardo, and Jessica Reyes. Prizes include Pokemon Trading Cards, cooking supplies, and campfire-themed pillows.

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