The Pleasanton Library and Recreation Department is set to kick off the free Summer Reading Program this Saturday to coincide with the beginning of the summer vacation for community students and continue through Aug. 7.
City librarian Katie DeLang said the in-person event after two years is garnering excitement.
"We're bringing a lot of our programs back to the library,'' DeLang said. "This is especially true for anybody who has kids that are a storytime age and we're just looking to continue to promote reading throughout the summer.
Themed "Read Beyond the Beaten Path," the Summer Reading Program promises fun-filled experiences for readers of all ages.
According to DeLang, it helps to bring the program to the community and to other parts of Pleasanton through games like cornhole, creating our own obstacle course and more.
"We're gonna play this really fun game, kind of like musical chairs. It's called 'drip drip trap' where instead of running around chairs, you have a super wet sponge," she said. "You play music and then if it stops and you're holding the sponge you have to squeeze all the water onto your head."
The games and activities give kids an opportunity to go outside the library and also bring it to different parts of the community.
"A great example of this is our Tuesday pop-up games where we will be going out to different parts in Pleasanton and having games for a couple of hours," DeLang said.
The theme further focuses on camping, including classic summer camp activities like crafts and exploring nature, specialty camps like space camp and beyond.
"This year's Summer Reading Program provides endless opportunities for creativity, connection, and life-long learning," said Cherie Buenaflor, a library programs coordinator. "Whether it's learning how to draw comics, making special camp-related crafts, or simply reading a book about the great outdoors, we're happy to encourage reading beyond the beaten path at the library this summer."
Community members of all ages will be encouraged to join the department in its mission, "Start your journey here: Discover, connect, enjoy," according to organizers.
As part of its strategic plan, the department aims to remain committed to identifying and enhancing programming to encourage exploration, intellectual curiosity and lifelong literacy.
Children earn rewards and virtual badges by tracking their reading hours throughout the summer using the Beanstack website and app. It's not just limited to kids but teens and adults can join in the fun by logging in their reading hours for a chance to win prizes.
"If they read for 15 hours, everyone gets a free book. And we also have our community goal of reading 1 million minutes," by logging hours through the Beanstack app, according to DeLang.
A new feature this year is the opportunity for all participants to "vote" for a new library card design and earn an extra raffle ticket. All program events and prizes for children, teens and adults are sponsored by the Friends of the Pleasanton Library.
Program activities will include craft afternoons, pop-up camp games around Pleasanton parks, and special performances at the Pleasanton Library, the Firehouse Arts Center and the Amador Theater.
The first 100 participants to sign up will receive a special prize and family entertainer Brian Scott will perform his special "Biblio Spectacular" magic show, encouraging families to find magic by reading beyond the beaten path.
Special performances and presenters will continue all summer long, for all ages. For children and families, Creatures of Impulse will present "Made to Order Fairy Tale" and the Pleasanton Youth Drama Camps will present a special showcase of original works, as well as a preview of "Stinky Cheese Man the Musical."
For teens, Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) will challenge young novelists to finish writing a novel in one month, starting with a pre-writing workshop on June 25 and ending with a visit by award-winning author Maggie Tokuda Hall.
Additionally, for teens, comic book artist Oliver Chin will teach participants about the art of making comics and city staff will share some scary, and not-so-scary campfire stories at the Alviso Adobe Community Park.
Adults are invited to listen to the folk stylings of High School Music Collaborative alumni Lauryn Marie at the Firehouse. And finally, participants of all ages are invited to visit Middle Earth for the Peripatetic Players in their special two-part "Lord of the Rings" parody show.
"We are so excited for our annual summer reading program this year," DeLang said. "We know how much our community has wanted opportunities to gather in person and we are looking forward to hosting a variety of weekly programs in the Pleasanton Library and around the city."
"Really we're just looking to engage in the community and explore the great outdoors when we can and then just promote lots of reading," she added.
Participants can sign up for the "Read Beyond the Beaten Path" reading program through the Pleasanton Library. The reading logs to track reading for prizes are digital, with print versions available at the library, including reading log options in multiple languages. To learn more, visit www.pleasantonlibrary.org.