Keep Reading This Summer With “Summer Break”

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MINT HILL, NC – School may be out for summer, but Summer Break is “in” at the Mint Hill Library!

Take a selfie with Queen Charlotte to earn the "Queen Charlotte" badge
Take a selfie with Queen Charlotte to earn the “Queen Charlotte” badge

Summer Break tasks participants with reading at least 20 minutes per day as well as completing a variety of other learning activities in different categories: create, explore, give, play and write.  New for 2022 is the “Queen Charlotte” activity badge.  Take a selfie with The Queen at your local library to earn this badge!

Summer Break is open to everyone, and it’s easy to sign up.  Visit, create an account (or use your account from last year), enter some basic information, and you’re ready to rock ‘n roll!  You don’t even need a library card to participate.

Use the same website or the mobile app “Beanstack Tracker” (by Zoobean) to track your reading time and other activities throughout the summer.  To complete the program, you must earn 1200 points.  Half of those points must be earned through reading – you earn one point per minute, so that’s about 10 hours of reading.  The remaining points can be earned by logging additional reading time or other activities.

Log 1200 points over the summer to complete the Summer Break program
Log 1200 points over the summer to complete the Summer Break program

The Mint Hill Branch is offering some great programming this summer to help you complete the challenge.  Programs for rising kindergarteners throughs second graders take place on Tuesdays, and programs for rising third through fifth graders take place on Wednesdays.  They’re also planning some programming for pre-teens.

“The other thing that we’re doing is partnering with Stevens Creek Nature Preserve,” adds Children’s Librarian Patty Lyons.  “They are doing three programs here.  The first one was yesterday, and we then we have one in July and one in August.”  July’s program will be about “Creatures of the City,” and August’s will be about reptiles!

Summer Break runs through August 13.  On Wednesday, August 10, the Mint Hill Branch will celebrate the culmination of the program with a party at the library from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  There will be music from Big Bang Boom, a North Carolina-based group with interactive, fun songs for families, and activities for kids of all ages.

Studies have shown that students who do not read at all during the summer months are at risk of falling behind their peers, creating an achievement gap that is difficult to close.  This so-called “summer slide” is evident on MAP testing when students return to school in the fall.  “By reading only 20 minutes a day, you keep that progress, and when students go back to school, it is easier,” explains Lyons.  

The library is open and ready to loan out books!
The library is open and ready to loan out books!

There are lots of great things happening at the library this summer, so be sure to check their website or stop by and pick up a calendar.  “We are open!” assures Lyons.  “We still get phone calls asking, ‘Are you guys open?’ We are open and doing our in person programs, and we just want people to come and check out books and keep reading over the summer.”

A lesser-known fact is that all CMS students’ ID numbers can be used to check out books, so you don’t even have to have a library card.  As an added bonus, the library recently eliminated overdue fines, so it will never cost you money to borrow books from the library.  “We just didn’t want that barrier, especially for students,” explains Lyons.  “If for some reason you are late returning your books, we don’t want you to be blocked from reading.”

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  In-person programming still has limited attendance; story times are first-come-first served, and participants are asked to register for school-aged programming to comply with capacity limits and ensure the program providers have adequate supplies.

In 2021, our community read 7,411,306 minutes.  Join the challenge this year, and help us get to 10 million minutes of reading!

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