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July 2024

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Adventure Begins At Your Local Library

The summer reading program at the Questa Public Library kicked off on June 7 and is nearly halfway through its schedule of events. Library Director Sharon Nicholson, along with her staff, has prepared a fun and exciting summer reading program with the theme “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” The program is held on Tuesdays and Fridays and goes through July 19, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The program welcomes children ages 4 to 10, but an older or younger child has never been turned away.

The summer reading program has been in existence at the Questa Library for at least 12 years. Nicholson says it is made possible by resources provided by The New Mexico State Library, as well as Grants for Good (a Chevron grant), prepared by the non-profit Friends of the Library, a group she spoke very highly of.

The overarching goal for the summer reading program is to (I bet you can guess) get kids excited about reading! Nicholson described research that has shown that children can lose much of what they have gained throughout the school year during the summer months.

Sharon starts planning for the program in December and it can be quite the undertaking when considering the lineup of events and coordination with other libraries throughout the state. Her full staff includes assistant librarians Andie Ortega and Kate Mann as well as the director of the summer reading program, Monica McClelland. Nicholson and her enthusiastic staff are working to fill in the summer gap between the school years and give young kids an opportunity to take their reading adventure to the level.
For example, some things you can expect from the program this summer include McClelland reading and engaging with the children and quizzing them afterwards, followed by the daily main event—which for June ranged from a magic show to learning basic outdoor skills. Children almost never leave empty-handed, receiving items such as t-shirts, dog tag chains containing your “brag tag,” or a journal to capture your experience that day.

The first event of the summer was “Questa Trucking,” where young children and curious adults were able to climb inside police vehicles, fire engines, and ambulances. A unique event covered in June was the three-part series on camping and outdoor skills. This was led by Mr. Spencer, the Questa Middle and High School science teacher. During this three-part series, children learned how and where to set up a campsite (including pitching a tent), research a local wildlife species, and learn some basic wilderness skills, at Columbine campground.

Nicholson calls the program “tremendously rewarding” for her and her staff. In the future she’d like to see a program geared toward the older kids in our community. So, come to your local library where you’ll be greeted with a smile and your young one will leave with a renewed enthusiasm for reading, in addition to a healthy snack!


  • Lora Arcienega

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