Children and YA Newsletter
July 2022
Bitmoji graphic with cartoon Kym eating watermelon on a checked picnic blanket with basket of fruit.
So. Much. Heat.

The height of summer heat has arrived... so out beyond the beaten path we go! Beyond camping, paddle boarding, and hiking, we have some things for you: lots of Summer Reading with Reminders, Information Session, Palace Project, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Camp Sparkler; and a few other tidbits all the way down. Read on to learn all about it.
Kymberlee Powe | Children and YA Consultant
Graphic banner of a woodsy setting with Kym in a camping tent, on a paddle board in water, on a hiking path with walking stick. The Camp iRead Read Beyond the Beaton Path is on the left hand side.
Logo: Camp iRead Read Beyond the Beaten Path badge with a tent in a wooded outdoor setting.
Summer Reading Reminders!

We are in the thick of it, I know, so consider these some gentle reminders and tips as we move through summer reading.

The Summer Reading LibGuide is continually refreshed with new information. You can find all of these:

Reporting on the CSL Summer Reading Program is part of our federal funding requirements which is why we have created the reporting tools for libraries to make this as easy as possible.

For those libraries that choose to participate in the CT State Library's Summer Reading Program, the Summer Reading Report, filled out in its entirety, is a requirement and that includes the collection of patron data. No amount of patron data is too small! 

To receive access to all summer reading program materials for 2023, this year’s Summer Reading Report must be submitted by October 7, 2022 at 4:00 pm deadline. Submitting a completed Summer Reading report will grant you free access to the 2023 iRead theme resource guide (more below!).

Even if you do not participate in the CT State Library Summer Reading theme, we will still take your data! It all helps us tell the statewide Summer Reading story.
Graphic: iRead Summer Reading 2023 preview of Find Your Voice theme.
Announcing the iRead 2023 Theme!

Find your Voice! / ¡Encuentra Tu Voz!

Our voices have power. We use our voices to share stories, express ourselves, and spark change. Our voices include not only the sounds we make, but the words we write, the art we create, the movements we perform, and the actions we take each day to impact our world.

Featured 2023 artists will be:
  • Early Readers - Angela Dominguez author of Mango, Abuela, and Me
  • Elementary - Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley author of Sharice’s Big Voice
  • Young Adult - Hannah Templar author of Cosmoknights
  • All Ages - Michaela Goade author of I Sang You Down from the Stars
Summer Reading Information Session

Wednesday, July 20 | 11 am-12 pm

Join Children/ YA Consultant Kymberlee Powe to go over the Summer Reading Report questions, the reporting spreadsheet, and all of it’s support material.

If you know that you are unable to attend the live session, it will be recorded and emailed to the listservs and posted on the website for all to access at their earliest convenience.

This webinar is for anyone who works with summer reading program in their libraries.
Logo: The Palace Project
Summer Reading with the Palace Project

Summer Reading is upon us! As we all know there are many ways to participate in summer reading, one of which is through ebooks and audiobooks. While your library may have a robust collection of digital materials, you can also access the CT State Library collection through the Palace app.

Palace is a new e-reading app as part of the CT State Library’s eGO CT program, a statewide library ebook platform, currently being rolled out to public libraries and their patrons. The CT State Library provides access to over 14,000 titles from multiple vendors, including the 2022 Summer Reading titles!

We encourage summer readers to read whatever book appeals to them, yet we know a little guidance can be helpful.

Explore the CT Department of Education’s Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge with 5 age-based summer reading lists. Many of these titles are available in the Palace app.

For individuals who qualify for services from the CT Library for the Blind, there are many Summer Reading titles available as Talking Books
Some of our favorite titles:
  • Forest Baby by Laurie Elmquist
  • The Young Adventurer’s Guide to Almost Everything by Ben Hewitt
  • Alone by Megan E. Freeman
  • City of Orphans by Avi
  • Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

The Palace Project is free to all CT public libraries. More books are always good! See if your library has been configured to access the Palace app.
Book cover: Alone by Megan E. Freeman
Logo: Connecticut Energy Environment
Summer Reading Program Partners!

The CT State Library and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

With the Summer Reading theme Read Beyond the Beaten Path hosted through iRead, the CT State Library is partnering with the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) and its State Parks and Public Outreach Division, several of its Nature Centers and Museums, as well as the No Child Left Inside® program this spring and summer to offer some wonderful Storywalks and reading opportunities! 

Did you know that Connecticut has 110 State Parks and 32 State Forests within 15 minutes of where you live, all of which are perfect for outdoor activities including birding, boating fishing, hiking, reading, and on-site learning, to just name a few. 

Partner with CT DEEP!

If you haven’t reached out to your nearest CT DEEP State Park or Forest Interpretive Center for possible partnership opportunities, there is still time – DEEP staff are available to connect with you! 
Go Camp Sparkler 2022!

Families Learn and Play Together All Summer Long

Camp Sparkler is well underway and families across CT are starting to learn through play with us! And just in case you haven't heard, these stories and songs all summer long are by our very own CT librarians!
Photo of young girl holding a drawing on a path shot from behind and above with a graphic frame.
Photo from previous image with background replaced with moon and space sky setting and graphic drawn space helmet and stars with a graphic frame.
Here are some updates for you on this fun new way to engage families across Connecticut in play-based learning all summer long: 
  • More than 150 parents have browsed through the camp activities already!
  • We've sent personal notes via Sparkler to all who have browsed or completed activities. Those who have finished their first activity have earned their "seed badge."
  • One 3-year-old in Manchester went on a Space Mission, and her mom gave permission to share this picture of her daughter!
  • One 3-year-old boy in Milford played "Countdown." His mom noted that his family practiced doing the countdown to "lift off" in multiple languages!
  • The first Toddler and littles storytimes in collaboration with the CT State Library were last week with Kym sharing stories and songs related to the theme of the week - meteorologist for toddlers, and astronaut for littles!

Questions: email [email protected] 
CT Summer Meals Program

No-Cost Meals for All Kids, All Summer

The CT Summer Meals Program is federally funded by the USDA and state-administered by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). The program provides free, nutritious meals to kids during summer break. Summer Meals meet federal nutrition guidelines and are composed of milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat or another protein. Summer Meals are offered at over 400 sites around the state from June to late August, serving combinations of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Meals are free to any child age 18-and-under, no questions asked.

Graphic with 4 Instagram images from CT public libraries with All CT Reads titles including Snapdragon by Kat Leyh, One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune,
Has Your Library Done All CT Reads Yet? Look Who Has!

So many All CT Reads books and all year long to read them!

Has your library done All CT Reads yet? Look who has by checking out #AllCTReads on Instagram – so many participating libraries!

If you have not done so already, you can reserve an All CT Reads book discussion set – or two or three! – any time.

Then, be sure to explore the All CT Reads website where you will find:

When you do All CT Reads – SHARE WITH US!
Tell us all about how you, your library, school, book club, or any group are participating in All CT Reads this year. Which books are you reading? Are you leading book discussions or creating your own programming? We want to hear from you!

Don’t forget to tag us when you post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #AllCTReads!
Submit to CT Pages!

Do you have a creative program, service, activity, partnership, or project that you want to share with your library neighbors? We are always seeking submissions for consideration – Submit your idea!

Have you checked out our latest episodes? Explore!

CT Pages is a channel for sharing community engagement success stories by libraries with and for their communities. We partner with CT libraries to create and release short video conversations with the library staff who make things happen.
Stay Connected! Join our Email Lists

Our many email discussion lists for the library community help you connect with your peers. Conntech has the greatest reach across the state, and both Goodnightmoon for children's services and Speak for YA services have lively discussions and professional interchange.

Bitmoji of Kym standing with book with text Any Questions?
Kymberlee Powe
Children and YA Consultant
[email protected] | (860) 704-2207

Connecticut State Library | Division of Library Development
Middletown Library Service Center
786 South Main Street | Middletown, CT 06457