If you were a kid in the 1980s and 90s, you might remember a reading program where we sought the ultimate prize of a personal pizza. It was a simple scheme- we read lots of books, collected stickers, and eventually, our parents took us out for that free pizza.
As country kids, heading to the city was a big deal but going out to dinner at a restaurant in the city was enormous. So you better believe we dedicated ourselves to winning.
Sure, some of us read all year long, but when that reading program started, everyone seemed to be a bookworm. It didn't matter if one kid read spooky tales and the other sports biographies; the halls were flush with kids sharing the new information they learned. Youthful conversations about books and topics would lead us to deeper conversations about ourselves. Before we knew it, the experience of reading books and sharing our insights had helped us form friendships.
It is with that nostalgic spirit that we present Beanstack, a modern reading program that combines technology with motivation!
What Is Beanstack?
Beanstack is an online service where readers of all ages can track the number of minutes they read, write book reviews, and challenge friends to reach their reading goals. The VMPL is currently testing this online resource as part of the Tween/ Teen Summer Reading Program with plans to roll out challenges for the whole family this fall.
Parents or tweens first create their own account on Beanstack. Parents and guardians are welcome to create family accounts. Family accounts are easy for one person to manage, and let younger readers join the fun. Simply enter each person's name, age, and grade level. Once logged in, you'll be able to see all challenges created for your age range. We are currently only offering the Tween Challenge, ages 12-16.
Summer Reading Challenge
Our Tween Summer Reading Challenge awards badges, raffle tickets and prizes for logged reading minutes. Those who download the app can use the built-in timer to track reading minutes and challenge friends. Those accessing the website can enter their minutes manually. MInutes add up over time, inching you closer to the next milestone. Everytime you reach a milestone, you unlock a virtual badge! The more badges you collect, the more raffle tickets and free books.
Readers also unlock badges by completeing activities. For the 2022 Teen Summer Reading Challenge, our activities include visiting the library, Teen Takeover Thursday events, writing book reviews, and locating the hidden "Word of the Day".
Coming This Fall
As we experiement with the new challenge this summer, we welcome user feedback and comments. Our goal for this fall is to offer several, concurrent Beanstack challenges for all age groups. One of the reasons we choose Beanstack is their participation in national reading challenges such as the annual Battle of the Books, 1000 Books Before Graduation, and monthly themed challenges designed for book clubs, heritage representation and celebration, and genre specific fun.
We are thrilled to offer this new online resource. Watch this space as we expand our reading rewards programmings in the future for all ages served by the Van Meter Public Library.
Access the Van Meter Public Library Summer Reading Challenge Here!