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Readers can help raise cash for first responders

Your reading pasttime could be earning money for first responders in Flossmoor.

The Flossmoor Public Library’s newly fashioned summer reading program is making every book count in its initiative to raise $1,000 for Flossmoor Police and Fire Departments.

Typically, libraries host summer reading programs for young readers as a way to encourage them to beat summer doldrums and keep reading while school’s out, said Anna Pauls, youth services manager. 

Summer reading needed a new twist this year due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced the library to find new ways to serve patrons. Pauls borrowed the idea of a fundraiser and got the Friends of the Flossmoor Public Library to back the idea.

The library has opened the summer reading program to all readers – young and old, resident and nonresident. Pauls said readers don’t need to live in Flossmoor. She’s encouraging readers from all communities to participate.

Every book reported will count toward an ultimate goal of 25,000 reads and a maximum donation of $1,000 from the Friends of the Flossmoor Public Library. The summer reading program continues through July 26.

“I’m sure there are people willing to help (during the pandemic), but they just didn’t have the time or the resources or they couldn’t go anywhere, especially kids,” Pauls said. “I felt like this was a good way for anyone who wanted to help to check out a book from our collection or use our e-collection and take the time to read and learn, and use that time to benefit another person and an organization.

“I felt this would go over very well in this community. People really seem to want to help and make improvements to make others’ lives better,” she added.

Both the Flossmoor and Homewood libraries are making books available through curbside pick-up. Pauls said if audiobooks are your pleasure, readers can also include those to the count for the summer reading program total. 

The Flossmoor library website has a Google form for readers to report on the books. It asks several questions about the book, including what’s the best part of the book, and whether it’s a book to be recommended.

If filling out the form is a problem, email Pauls the title of the book at [email protected].

Pauls also took the library’s traditional reading bingo log sheet and redesigned it into fun activities for kids and adults this summer.

“I changed it to a screen-free activities game children and teens could download and play among their families and with friends. I wanted there to be other ways for younger patrons to keep learning and having fun in addition to screen time and reading this summer,” she said.

On the kids sheet, suggestions include: Write and put on a play, have a dance party to your favorite songs, and play a board game with your family. 

For adults who need a bit of inspiration, the bingo sheet suggestions include: try drawing something, look at the stars at night in your backyard, and make a time capsule to open in the future.

Both of the bingo sheets can be downloaded from the flossmoorlibrary.org website.

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