On Stands Now
July 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Courtesy Margaret Lejuste Kids huddle around at the Questa Public Library during the summer program

Questa Public Library’s Summer Reading Program “All Together Now” Is A Smashing Success

Every summer since 2011 (except for the COVID-19 shutdown), the Questa Public Library has offered a summer reading program. The program is based on annual themes produced by the nationwide collaborative Summer Library Program and offered by the New Mexico State Library to New Mexico libraries. This program provides reading incentives, activities, special programs, and games — all designed to keep up the skills and enjoyment of reading for elementary students during the summer break.

Courtesy Margaret Lejuste Noah Duran poses, all dressed up, during the summer program

During its initial years, library staff felt lucky to have two or three children attend a once-weekly session. This year, the program grew to an average of 28 participating children in each of the twice-weekly sessions over a period of five weeks! The kids came from public school, home school, and summer camp.

The 2023 theme was “All Together Now.” Each session featured a special activity that encouraged the children’s participation. Some of those sessions this year were: Questa Truckin’, a puppet show, a magician, the Salida Circus, and a special dog from Taos Search and Rescue. The most attended days were Questa Truckin’ and A Storybook Walk and Tea Party. After snacks, children took time to check out books.

And thanks to a generous donor, the library was able to offer an extra incentive for reading: for every day a child attended and showed that they had been reading, they were given a token to enter the drawing for a scooter or bicycle. The drawing was held on the final day, and nine lucky children went home with a new mode of transportation.

Perhaps the best way to describe this year’s success comes from the comments of parents who attended with their children:
“The combination of the encouragement of reading as well as the library being a fun social space helped my home-schooled child a lot! She now tries to read her own books aloud to us at home.”

“My kids now ask to come to the library to enjoy all the fun!”

“Loved the variety! It’s a great time for kids and parents!”

A crucial element of the success of the 2023 summer reading program was the participation of parents and guardians who attended with their charges. Besides the social aspect, the interest expressed by the attending adults was crucial in instilling a lifelong love of reading for the younger generation.

Final tally for “All Together Now:”
Kid visits: 307
Adult visits: 151
Volunteers assisting: 22
Staff assisting: 23
Performers and assistants: 43
Total number of participants: 546

The Questa Public Library’s summer reading programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Questa Public Library with funding from Chevron Grants for Good and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation.