On June 8, Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S. Ravinia Ave., hosted its second annual Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off event themed, Read, Renew, Repeat. (Supplied photos)

On June 8, Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S. Ravinia Ave., hosted its second annual Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off event themed, Read, Renew, Repeat. (Supplied photos)

Orland Park Public Library kicks off summer

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Orland Park Public Library Director Mary Adamowski and Friend of the Library Eileen Yates worked the summer reading challenge at Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S. Ravinia Ave. on June 8 helping patrons find the right book.

By Kelly White

Summer is nearly here and the Orland Park Public Library is ready for it.

On June 8, the library, 14921 S. Ravinia Ave., hosted its second annual Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off event themed, Read, Renew, Repeat.

“There are multiple interpretations to this theme,” Jackie Boyd, Communications Manager at the Orland Park Public Library, said. “There is the conservation angle, and we are going to be doing some library programs related to conservation. Conservation focuses on protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services, protecting biological diversity, and more. Also, we have book displays and reading suggestions related to conservation. There is also the self-renewal angle of growth and change, and we are also embracing that angle. Our reading challenge makes for a wonderfully diversified summer reading program that encourages reading as a restorative method of self-improvement and preservation.”

When school is out for the summer, the library aims to fill that gap with reading and activities that help students avoid the summer slide. Summer slide refers to the knowledge loss students experience during the break when they aren’t engaging in academic activities.

However, adults and seniors also enjoy participating, as it encourages everyone to read more and offers rewards for doing so.

“The library always makes sure its events are accessible to people of all ages and abilities,” Boyd said. “We warmly welcome everyone. Our summer reading challenge is designed to help participants grow and have fun.”

The day began with a Very Special Bright Starts Storytime, followed by Mr. D’s Magic Show under in the pavilion in front of the library. He brought with him his magic wagon. Then, throughout the day, the library was visited by Leo the K-9 Officer, the Rolling Video Game truck, Von Proof Cotton Candy, and Curli Q Cantina.

Kids were able to try out their skills at mini golf and the Lego Creation Station. Families were encouraged to bring a little bit of pocket money to shop the Friends of the Library sidewalk sale running concurrently with the kickoff event.

The library also unveiled a Seed Library this summer as part of summer reading challenge.

“We have had a lot of support from the community this year to help us offer the best summer reading challenge,” Boyd said.

The library partnered with Wild Birds Unlimited to offer a hummingbird feeder as a prize to one lucky reader. They also partnered with Pete’s Fresh Market to offer a large prize basket. Readers could enter to win these prizes after they complete their reading as part of the challenge.

The library joined forces with RUSH Kids Pediatric Therapy, as well, to offer a basket of developmental toys, and we are partnering with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Office of Patricia Theresa Flynn to offer a rain barrel as one of their grand prizes, to go with the conservation theme.

Two new partners we had this year were DDV Law, Ltd. and Orland Park Nutrition, and graciously, the Office of Sean Morrison and Kathy Hilton sent the library a limited number of zoo passes for readers to enter to win.

“We are always happy to make new community partnerships,” Boyd said. “Their commitment to literacy in the community is greatly appreciated.”

Sponsors that continue to come back year after year included: B Stunning Salon, Dave & Busters, Robek’s, Trugurt, Rizza, Marcus Theatre, The Original Pancake House, Windy City Thunderbolts, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Urban Air Adventure Park, Lou Malnati’s, Chick-fil-A, Kane County Cougars, Potbelly’s, Burger 21, Portillo’s, Cooper’s Hawk, and Bonefish Grill.

“We are so happy to have these long-time relationships with local businesses that give back to the community,” Boyd said. “Our biggest sponsor every year is the Friends of the Library. We are so grateful to have their collective support at the library.”

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