Category Archives: Summer Reading

2016 Teen Video Challenge

Teen Facebook CSLP2016

This year we were pleased to have three entries from two North Dakota libraries in the CSLP Teen Video Challenge!

The first entry was “Get in the Game, Read” from Maya Bachmeier from the Minot Public Library:

The second entry was “Read in the Summer” from Nolan Mathews, also from the Minot Public Library:

The third entry was “Get in the Spirit” from Skye Avka, Racheal Couture, and Andrea McCubbin at the Valley City-Barnes County Public Library:

“Read in the Summer” was chosen as the winning video from North Dakota. Nolan and the Minot Public Library will receive prizes from CSLP and Upstart. All participants received a certificate and a book from the North Dakota State Library for participating. Thank you to all the 2016 participants!


Resources from the American Heart Association

heartThis year’s summer reading theme is health, wellness, fitness, and sports. The American Heart Association has a number of resources to help support active programs at your library. If your local school participates in Jump Rope for Heart, you may already be familiar with some of these resources.

You may have heard of the NFL Play 60 Challenge. If you are interested in hosting a challenge at the library, you can use the teacher guide to help you get started. Even if you don’t host a Challenge, there are plenty of ideas for activities you could use on their own.

Depending on the age group you are working with, there are lesson plans for both elementary and middle school age students. You can also find guides for jump rope skills, basketball skills, and ideas for Heart Smart stations.

For food oriented programs, you can register to receive School Garden Lesson Plans. The guide includes 35 lesson plans about healthy eating. The best part is you can do the activities in the guide even if you don’t have a garden!

What are you doing to encourage your kids to be heart healthy during the summer reading program this year? Share your ideas in the comments!

Resources for a Healthy Summer Reading Program

Chld Canoe copyAs you plan programs to get kids moving at the library for this summer’s reading theme of health,  fitness, wellness, and sports, here are some resources you can use to help kids make healthy life choices:

  • Eat Play Grow – Eat Play Grow is an “early childhood health curriculum” designed “to teach children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers how to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices.”
  • USDA Summer Food Service Program – The SFSP “ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.” With programs for children already taking place, the library is an ideal feeding site.
  • Healthy Habits for Life – This toolkit from Sesame Street helps you “help channel [children’s] natural energy into activities that keep them fit and strong.” “We Have the Moves” is a particularly useful section for library programming.

How are you encouraging a healthy lifestyle at the library this summer? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Activity Ideas to Get Kids Moving at the Library

Child Boy Read copyReading is a beneficial, but sedentary, activity. As librarians, we are all about encouraging kids to read more. Developing your mind is crucial, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your body. It’s not enough just to read about physical activity. If you need activities to get your little bookworms moving, check out some of these ideas:

When it’s time to take a break from reading, what’s your favorite way to get moving?

Community Partners for Summer Reading

Chld Paddleboard copyThis year’s summer reading theme of health, wellness, fitness, and sports lends itself particularly well to building community partnerships. Many organizations are already committed to helping the citizens in your community live healthy, active lifestyles.

Here are some local organizations you might have access to in your community: Continue reading

Move to Learn

movetolearnMove to Learn is an organization based on the concept that “the more exercise a student gets, the better his or her grades are likely to be,” as well as the fact that “more fitness was associated with better behavior and less absenteeism.” Libraries may not be school classrooms, but libraries are all about learning, and library programs can help kids be more active. With the 2016 summer reading theme of health, fitness, wellness, and sports, now is the perfect time to start planning library programs that encourage an active lifestyle.

Move to Learn offers downloadable materials to help you plan programs:

The videos are organized by age groups from PreK to 6th grade. Lesson plans can be searched by subject area, grade level, duration of lesson, materials available, or keyword. Subject areas include Health and Physical Education; Science, Technology, and Math; History and Language; as well as Visual and Performing Arts. The songs, videos, and shorter activities would work well for story times too.

How do you get kids moving in your library programs? Share your ideas in the comments!

Growing Up Healthy

Chld Bikes copyNemours is a nonprofit children’s health organization, committed to improving the health of children. They have a wealth of information about healthy living that is perfect for the 2016 summer reading theme of health, fitness, wellness, and sports.

The Growing Up Healthy section has resources for five areas:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Screen Time
  • Sleep Routines
  • Emotional Wellness

Continue reading

2016 “Get in the Game” Teen Video Challenge


The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has launched the 2016 Teen Video Challenge, a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program. Teens across the country are invited to create a 30 to 90 second video with their interpretation of the 2016 teen slogan “Get in the Game–Read” in combination with reading and libraries. This is an opportunity for teens to showcase their creativity and have their ideas heard before a national audience.

The winning video from each participating state will be named one of the CSLP 2016 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide. $150 will be awarded to the creators of the winning state video and their associated public library will receive prizes worth at least $50 from CSLP, Upstart, and CSLP partners. Winners will be announced by CSLP in April 2016.

For full details about the CSLP 2016 Teen Video Challenge and to find out how to enter in North Dakota, please visit

Summer Food Service Programs at North Dakota Libraries

GF lunchDuring the school year, many children receive free lunches at school. When school lets out for the summer, that often means kids go hungry. That’s where the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) steps in. During the summer, any child ages 0-18 can eat lunch a SFSP site. Public libraries make ideal sites, since they are natural gathering places for children during summer reading programs! As a meal service site, libraries do not prepare the food, they simply offer a place for children to eat.

This year, two North Dakota libraries were involved in the SFSP. The Grand Forks Public Library SFSP site is sponsored by the St. Joseph’s Social Care and Thrift Store. They served lunch Monday through Friday for eight weeks. The  Grand Forks Public Library has participated as SFSP site for two years. The Morton Mandan Public Library participated as a site for the first time this year. Lunch was served in Dykshoorn Park Monday through Friday for nine weeks.

Morton Mandan lunch at the library

First Lady Betsy Dalrymple helped kick off of the program by reading to the kids and giving away books provided by the United Way.

Linda Austin, Children’s Program Coordinator at The Morton Mandan Public Library, also organized 34 programs to tie in to this year’s summer reading theme. “Lunch with Heroes” featured different heroes from the community, and included the Fire Department, Police Department, National Guard, nurses, doctors, Humane Society, musicians, crafters, gymnasts, and many more. Heroes provided a short program that highlighted their role in the community. On average, 77 children attended each program. First Lady Betsy Dalrymple also participated by reading to the children and giving away books provided by the United Way. To learn more about the program in Mandan, check out the article in the Bismarck Tribune.

 Morton Mandan lunch at the library

“Dreams in Motion” gave the kids an opportunity to play wheelchair basketball.

Morton Mandan lunch at the library

“READ” therapy pets who read with the kids for the Reading Tails Program.

For information on the importance of the SFSP program, and to learn what libraries in other states are doing, check out the article “Eat Up! 5 Public Libraries’ Successful Summer Meals Programs.”  To learn more about getting involved in the SFSP in North Dakota, visit the Department of Public Instruction’s Child Nutrition & Food Distribution website. We would love to see more libraries participate!

Summer Reading and Connected Learning

3240-puzzle-colors-WallFizz[1]Do you have a harder time engaging teens in your summer reading program than kids? Have you considered a different approach to connecting teens to the library during the summer? At the CSLP annual meeting in April, K’Lyn Hann from the Newberg Public Library in Oregon shared her new approach to teen summer reading that focuses on connected learning.

What is connected learning? Wikipedia defines it as “a type of learning that integrates personal interest, peer relationships, and achievement in academic, civic, or career-relevant areas. The connected learning model suggests that youth learn best when: they are interested in what they are learning; they have peers and mentors who share these interests; and their learning is directed toward opportunity and recognition.”

Instead of focusing on just reading, K’Lyn’s program focuses on having teens make a connection between what’s already going on in their lives with related resources the library has to offer. For instance, if you went fishing, you could locate a pamphlet on fish native to your state, a book on how to fly fish, an article how water pollution is bad for fish, or a recipe for cooking fish. Then you would list the activity on your log, along with the item and where you found it in the library. Reading counts an activity as well. For more details, visit her Teens Summer Program page to view her program flyer, entry ticket, and prizes. Continue reading