Ultimate Summer Challenge encourages Calgarians to read this summer

The Calgary Public Library is offering prizes for those who read the most this summer

By Emma Boyne | June 24, 2022 |5:00 am

The Calgary Public Library is encouraging families to register for the Ultimate Summer Challenge to be entered to win great prizes.

Photo: Submitted

Summer is the time for joy — with the sun constantly shining, it often feels like it’s a time for no responsibilities and no learning for students on their school breaks. 

Kids often hope to leave reading to their school time and forget to engage their brains in continuous learning to help them develop, but leaving the books at home can cause literacy loss for up to three months, and is a challenge for stable growth in youth, according to library officials. 

To help students avoid this loss of literacy, the Calgary Public Library is running another edition of its Ultimate Summer Challenge, which is a fun series of activities curated to involve kids in reading over the summer while attempting to win prizes. 

And this year, adults are welcome to join in on the challenge too, says Kate Schutz, service design lead for the Calgary Public Library. 

A special way for families to bond 

Incorporating adults into the challenge this year, Schutz says that the program is a creative way to both promote community and grow reading skills. 

“There’s lots of research that shows that kids that aren’t supported with reading and learning during the summer are at risk of something called ‘summer slide’, which is just a learning loss that happens when they’re not in school,” Schutz explains.  

“We invite kids and teens to read this summer anything that interests them and keeps their reading skills up.”

The library expects up to 20,000 participants this year. 

Many great prizes are up for grabs 

Schultz says many kids are tracking their reading hours for competition and to win prizes. Parents can also win prizes. 

With a variety of different trophies to choose from, kids can look forward to competing for things like a Nintendo Switch, a Wii, and even more. 

“We have lots of programming and events for families and kids all summer long that you can attend for free, and we also have different reading challenges depending on your age,” Schutz says.  

“You sign up online and you’re automatically qualified to win the grand prizes, and then there’s opportunities to earn more prizes, weekly prizes throughout the summer as well.” 

The details 

The summer-long reading program challenges young families, kids, teens, and adults to track their reading hours and participate in free superhero-themed activities and programs to keep everyone reading until August 31.

Everyone who registers for the Ultimate Summer Challenge is entered to win great prizes. Each age group will have their own set of unique prizes, including personalized books, iPads, Nintendo Switches, Chromebooks, gift baskets for book lovers, and more. 

Participants will also have the opportunity to enter additional weekly prize draws throughout the summer on top of the grand prize draws.   

Registration is free at all library locations and online.

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Emma Boyne

Emma Boyne is an intern at Calgary Citizen.

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