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Children’s Programs

Summer Reading Program / SummerQuest

With a different theme each year, the library’s Summer Reading Program, also known in Pennsylvania public libraries as SummerQuest, is the perfect way to engage the whole family in fun, learning activities throughout the summer months at the library and beyond. Geared especially toward independent readers who have completed Kindergarten through grade 6, SummerQuest offers a series of weekly programs and activities that participants may attend with a focus creating and working towards completing a personal reading goal by the end.


Registration for the 2021 Summer Reading Program begins Monday, June 7th, with the program running June 14th through August 6th. This year’s theme is “Tails and Tales,” featuring fun stories, activities, and events all centered on the animal kingdom and set to inspire reading and a love of learning among all ages. Children, teens, and adults are invited to participate by downloading the Beanstack app and signing up at murrysville.beanstack.org. Interested participants can also contact the library to sign up. Check the library’s official Summer Reading newsletter for more information about both in-person and virtual activities happening each week. Starting June 7th, look for events on the library’s online calendar to sign up.

Through Beanstack, participants can track their reading, take part in activity challenges, earn virtual badges, and enter to win prizes. Pre-readers, children who are not yet reading on their own, can share in reading with their grown-up, and independent readers, older children through adults, can read at their own pace. Children can check in at the library each week to pick up a small incentive as they progress through the program. Those who reach their reading goal by August 5th can stop by the library to pick up a Summer Prize Bag, Participation Certificate, and invitation to the library’s End of Summer Reading Party on August 6th featuring the Pittsburgh Zoomobile, StageRight! Princesses, balloon animals, and more.

 

Virtual Programs

While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the library from hosting events in-person, we’ve transitioned to offering an array of online activities for our community to enjoy. Check out our YouTube page for recordings of activities as well as our Events Calendar and Facebook page to stay up to date on all programs and events.

Storytime Soundbites

Archived on the library’s YouTube page, these virtual storytimes are designed for littles ones ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Each storytime includes a song or rhyme, story read-aloud, and activity idea to enjoy together, along with early literacy tips throughout.

Electronic Resource Tutorials

Also archived on our YouTube page are recordings of tutorials on how to use electronic resources and databases that you can access remotely with your library card.

Dr. Seuss Digital Breakout Room

In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read Across America Day happening every March 2nd, please enjoy this digital escape room!

 

Beanstack Challenges

Children and families are invited to participate in a number of different virtual reading challenges via our web-based and app-based software, Beanstack. It’s easy, like a Fitbit for reading, but instead of exercising your body, you exercise your brain! Track your reading, write reviews of books, and receive fun virtual badges and other incentives for your progress.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Virtual Challenge (ages 0-5 years old)

Help your little learner get ready for Kindergarten by reading and logging 1,000 books! An ongoing challenge for which you can sign up anytime, this is a great way to set your child up with an early love of reading and remember all of their favorite books. Caregivers can sign up their children as a “reader” under their account on Beanstack.  Earn fun, virtual badges as you continue through the challenge and get to the 1,000 mark. Let us know when you complete this challenge so that the library can celebrate your child’s success!

Summer Reading Virtual Challenge

Summer time doesn’t mean children need to let all of the literacy skills they built up during the school year fade away. This challenge helps lessen the impact of the summer slide by keeping kids of all ages motivated, engaged, and reading all summer long. Check back close to the end of the school year to learn more about pre-registering. By signing up and participating, children will earn virtual badges for activities completed and have the chance to earn tickets for fun raffles and giveaways throughout the summer.

 

Take & Make / Grab & Go Activity Kits

These activity kits are perfect for curious children who love to explore hands-on activities and creating. Each kit includes directions and all the supplies you need for a fun, at-home activity. Videos showing the contents of each kit along with and demonstration of the activity are posted to the library’s YouTube channel. Some themes for past kits have included STEM Snowball Fort Creation, Cupid’s Bow & Arrow Challenge, and DIY Slime Chemistry. Check with the library or on our Facebook page to see what kits may be available now or in the future.

 

Storytimes

Designed for young children and their caregivers, storytimes are an excellent opportunity to engage participants in sharing books, songs, rhymes as well as foster important early literacy and social-emotional skills. Most importantly, storytime is a fun way to spend time together, connect with others, and turn learning into an adventure! The storytimes listed below are in-person programs. Check out the Events Calendar for a complete listing of current and upcoming programs.

Babies-n-Books

Babies-n-Books is for young children ages 12 months to 2 years old and their accompanying adults.  Each thirty-minute session includes well-loved rhymes, a book or two, finger plays, songs, and movement. This group encourages socialization and early literacy skills for young children and adults together. This storytime series typically includes six meetings per season, and registration is required.

Toddler Time

Toddler time is for the most active of little ones ages 2 to early 3 year olds. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes and is full of action rhymes, singing, instruments, stories, and a variety of engaging literacy activities to help children get ready to read. Sessions end with a craft, science, or art activity for every child and their grown-up to do together.

Preschool Storytime

Share the fun of reading with your children ages 3-5 years! Children and their grown-ups will explore stories and activities to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. These 30-to-40-minute programs are designed to promote language and listening skills, expand children’s imaginations, and arouse their curiosity about the world around them.