In a year so affected by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the library has had to adapt its way of presenting services, which includes the Pioneer Library System's annual Summer Learning Challenge.

But rest assured, the Summer Learning Challenge still will go strong, even if it looks a little different for readers to "Imagine Your Story" through 2020's summer theme. Summer Learning runs through August 15, with a variety of ways to participate both virtually and from home.

This year's Summer Learning Challenge - accessible here - rewards readers for time spent reading either a physical book or through the library's downloadable collection. But as with last year's Challenge, taking part in a variety of activities also will count toward a person's summer goal.

Summer programs also are getting into full swing, with mutliple upcoming virtual presentations. Families can experience the following:

Animal Pathology: 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 7 – Museum of Osteology presenters will offer a program geared to teens on the effects of illness and physical trauma on a variety of different animals.

Lego Club, 4 p.m. on Thursdays: Children ages 8 to 12 will learn from the Lego Lady in a weekly Zoom presentation. Projects will include a magic carpet zip line for Aladdin, a Zoom puppet theater for Pinocchio and more.

Imagination Activation, 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays: Program presenters Jonathan Gillis and Erin Cheek will lead children ways to use their voices, faces and bodies to clearly communicate characters and emotions onstage and in storytelling.

Participants in this year's challenge are working together to spend six million minutes reading and learning this summer. If the goal is reached, PLS will donate books to the McClain and Cleveland County Health Departments and to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation for young readers ages 5 and under.

The current circumstances bring a chance for great creativity in terms of ways to participate in the Summer Learning Challenge. One quick way is by watching the kickoff events online. More things families can do include:

Create and share a book cover of your life.

Play a board game of construct a puzzle.

Learn a family recipe.

Imagine, create, and act out a fairy tale.

Have a family dance party.

Write a letter. Send it to a friend or relative.

Build using items around your house.

Create art based on a favorite book.

Explore your neighborhood in an outdoor "scavenger hunt."

Out of an abundance of caution, programs inside the library have been suspended through at least the end of August to avoid large gatherings even after state and local regulations allow for libraries to safely reopen.Last summer's challenge efforts helped PLS donated hundreds of books to multiple organizations thanks to the Pioneer Library System Foundation, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Foundation and Cynthia Cooper.

Individuals who complete various stages of the challenge earn incentive rewards for themselves, and multiple prize drawings are scheduled for the end of summer for teen and adult participants. Learning rewards will be available at physical libraries as buildings are able to hopefully be open later in the summer.

The 2020 Summer Learning Program is sponsored by: Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation; Friends of the Library groups; Hitachi Computer Products of America (Inc.); Institute of Museum and Library Services; Oklahoma College Savings Plan; Pioneer Library System; Pioneer Library System Foundation; Sonic: America's Drive-In. Corp.; the Oklahoma Department of Libraries; and the Oklahoman Newspapers in Education.


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The Pioneer Library System serves Cleveland, McClain, and Pottawatomie counties.

There are twelve hometown libraries, one community place, six information stations, three 24-hour machines, and two book boxes available for your convenience.

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