While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many unforeseen changes across Berks County and beyond, the Schuylkill Valley Community Library (SVCL) offered a creative solution for participants of the countywide Reading Olympics to show off their book knowledge in a virtual contest.
Collaborating with local school librarians, SVCL staff and volunteers created a weekly series of videos containing questions on books from the 2020 Reading Olympics booklist. These videos are aimed at elementary and middle school students in Berks County who could respond with videos of their own for a chance to win an electronic gift card to Barnes & Noble. One of the library’s teen volunteers, Isabella Burch, created the videos and questions for middle school participants. The current Miss Greater Reading, Hallie Jacobs, made a special guest appearance during the kickoff week.
“We were disappointed to learn that the Reading Olympics has been postponed this year,” said SVCL director Christie Brown. “We have a number of children who come into the library to check out books on the Reading Olympics list. They’re always excited to participate, and we didn’t want the current situation to take that away from them.”
Reading Olympics is a countywide reading event that encourages students to increase the quality and quantity of books they read for enjoyment. SVCL launched their Virtual Library Edition of the annual event in late April, which will conclude on May 31. Over 50 children have participated in the library’s event to date.