BOONE — Readers of all ages will be delighted as Watauga County Public Library and the Western Watauga Branch present the Tails and Tales/ Colas y Cuentos Summer Learning Program.

Activities include outdoor story times every Wednesday at 11 a.m. with Creature Features and will include llamas and baby goats. Other activities include a Lego Animal Lego Pet Show, gem mining with the Schiele Museum, on-line special programs, weekly prize drawings and more. The 2021 Summer Learning Program is open to those ages 1-18.

Register for Tails and Tales any time through the library’s READsquared website, wataugacountylibrary.readsquared.com/ or register at the Watauga County Public Library.

The fun begins on Monday, June 7. Community members can read or listen to any book or audio that interests them. When reading 20 minutes a day and completing 100 minutes, readers get a food coupon from Lost Province or Stick Boy, a book, or a small prize.

Additionally, each week that readers log their reading, they will be entered into a weekly raffle for the chance to win prizes from local community donors like High Gravity Adventures, Mysterium, Mystery Hill, Sky Valley Zip Line, Rock Dimensions, Doc’s Rocks, Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation and Grandfather Mountain.

The Watauga Public Library also announced a partnership with Page Turner Adventures, known for bringing stories to life with their comedic approach at libraries across the world. Starting June 7, the Watauga County Public Library and Western Watauga Branch will give patrons access through the READsquared portal to a Virtual Summer Reading Program.

This program is geared towards children in grades K-3, and includes comedy shows, crafts, recipes, children’s book author interviews, guest performers, contests, games and more. These adventures will only be available through READsquared, so make sure to register at wataugacountylibrary.readsquared.com/.

Stop by the library to pick up a flier of summer reading events. For more information on programs, call the Watauga County Public Library at (828) 264-8784, Ext. 3, Western Watauga Branch Library at (828) 297- 5515, or visit www.wataugacountylibrary.org.

All programs are free of charge. If community members do not have access to the internet, they stop by the library can register for Tails and Tales and pick up a paper reading log. This summer, the library will be limiting each summer learning participant to a total of eight prizes, plus the chance to be entered into weekly drawings.

Children and teens who participate in summer library programs benefit from engaging activities and opportunities, which promote literacy development and can help to counter summer slide. The summer slide is a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session.

Studies show that kids sometimes lose significant knowledge in reading and math over summer break, which tends to have a snowball effect as they experience subsequent skill loss each year. Summer library programs are for all ages and enhance lifelong learning and provide meaningful, enjoyable experiences available to everyone in the community.

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