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Editorial: Learn something new this summer with the Carroll County Public Library

On Thursday, the Carroll County Public Library kicked off its Summer Discovery program, the evolution of the traditional summer reading programs synonymous with libraries, at branches across the county.

The program is open for readers of all ages. This year, participants can earn points by completing activities, reading books and writing reviews. Earn 300 points and you can win prizes like Orioles tickets, passes to the Maryland Science Center, or treats and good times from local businesses like Hoffman’s Ice Cream and the Island Green Family Fun Center. At the end of summer, there will be a raffle for prizes like gift cards to Walmart, Target and Amazon.

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If you missed the kickoff events, don’t fret, participants can sign up at any time online or at any of the library branches.

Besides reading points, participants can earn points through a number of other activities as well, picking up virtual “badges” for completing specific activities. Activities to earn points and badges range from visiting a farm or farmers market to learning a song in another language to checking out a book, movie or magazine from the library to tending a garden.

Points can also be earned by developing and setting personal goals, then following through. For many people, young and old, they may be more motivated and take ownership of a self-selected goal than one that is set for them.

While Summer Discovery isn’t just about books these days, learning is still at the heart of the matter. For young people, the prizes incentivize reading and learning through exploration during summer vacation. Research shows that students can lose as much as three months worth of information they’ve learned during the summer break, known as the summer slide.

Libraries have worked to make summer reading and learning more fun and engaging, so kids don’t feel like they’re still in the traditional grind of going to class and doing homework, but still keep their minds active. Students who do this will find it takes them less time to get up to speed on new material once they return to school in the fall, and teachers spend less time reviewing material from the previous year.

But adults are encouraged to participate, too. While many of the activities are designed with young people in mind, we could all stand to learn something new.

And throughout the summer, the libraries offer myriad programs and activites for both kids and adults where they can keep busy, have fun and learn.

In keeping with the “Libraries Rock!” theme of the 2018 Summer Discovery program, all branches will be offering a variety of musical activities over the next few months, ranging from a visit from Grammy-nominated children’s rock band Milkshake — performing at the Westminster branch at 10 a.m. Friday, June 22; Wednesday, June 27, in Eldersburg; and Friday, June 29, in Taneytown — to the lunchtime summer concert series at noon Fridays at the Westminster branch.

Learn more about the Summer Discovery program or any other summer offerings from the library by visiting www.library.carr.org.

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