Warren County Public Library – Unwrap educational opportunities with WCPL’s “Sensational Snow Days!”

submitted by Warren County Public Library

Santa won’t be the only one making a list and checking it twice this holiday season. Warren County Public Library invites everyone to join in this year’s “Sensational Snow Days” Winter Reading Program December 4 through January 25. By logging any combination of five books, activities, or programs attended, participants will receive a completion prize and be eligible for the grand prize to be given away at the end of January.

This annual event is a seven-week program promoting family and community engagement, aimed at preventing the educational slide that can occur during seasonal breaks with school-aged children. Though the program is intended to keep students active in reading and learning during extended times off, Warren County Public Library’s Youth Services Manager Veronica Rainwater was quick to note the program is open to all ages, adults included. She said participants simply need to register at any library location or go to www.warrenpl.beanstack.org.

If you have already registered for an account with Beanstack, you do not need to register again; when you log in the option to register for “Sensational Snow Days” will be available to you. For patrons without home internet access, kiosks will be set up at each of the library locations for registrants who need to create an account through Beanstack, an online registration program first used during this year’s Summer Reading event. Paper logs will also be available, but Rainwater encourages patrons to utilize Beanstack’s digital registration system. She said the program is used year-round by the library and provides many advantages, including the ability for participants to keep a virtual log of every book they have read.

Each of the four WCPL locations will host a specific children’s event as part of the “Sensational Snow Days” Winter Reading Program. Bob Kirby Branch will feature a fort-building activity using blankets and cardboard for construction. The Smiths Grove Branch will host an event featuring a representative from Lost River Caves discussing birds in Kentucky followed by the chance to build a birdhouse. The Graham Drive Community Library will have an “I Have A Dream” Art Drop-In, offering attendees the chance to take part in a community art project to be displayed inside the branch. The Main Library will present a STEM-oriented program based on the classic picture book, Snowy Day. For more information on times and locations for these events, visit www.warrenpl.org/snowdays.

A new addition to this year’s “Sensational Snow Days” program will be an inflatable discovery dome. Lexington’s Living Arts and Science Center will be bringing this traveling exhibit as part of Warren County Public Library’s participation in the NASA @ My Library initiative. The show is called “The Search for Life in the Universe” and is geared for ages 10 and up. According to Rainwater, participants will have the chance to lie down and look up at the dome and watch a planetarium-style show take place all around them. She said it promises to be a really immersive experien

ce that participants cannot get from a traditional planetarium. Rainwater also emphasized advanced registration is required for the discovery dome as space is extremely limited. Sign-ups will open in January and the information will be on the program web page.

In order to successfully complete the “Sensational Snow Days” Winter Reading challenge, participants must log five items from the list of books, magazines, and music selections designated to apply. Any combination of activities, books, or programs is admissible. Rainwater said the goal of the program is to engage families and individuals in winter reading all season long. She emphasized the guidelines for the program are intentionally broad, aimed primarily at encouraging participants to utilize the library and its services.

Grab & Go activities will once again be part of the “Sensational Snow Days” program. These pre-packaged projects can be completed at home and make ideal tasks for snow days or other times when participants are unable to make it to the library. New sets of activities will be available each week of the winter reading program at all four locations.

Rainwater said that although the Summer Reading program typically receives much more participation, the winter reading program shares the same objective. She hopes to continue the growth of the winter program by building on the success of last year’s event, which included over 1,500 participants.

“This is becoming a part of many people’s holiday tradition,” Rainwater said, explaining they typically start having people inquire about the challenge as soon as Halloween concludes. She hopes that eventually the winter reading program will become just as synonymous with the holiday break as the summer reading program is during the summer months.

Other events happening in conjunction with the “Sensational Snow Days” program include the Polar Express readings at the Historic RailPark and Train Museum, as well as Santa visits at each of the library locations. For more information on these and other activities happening this month at the Warren County Public Library, visit www.warrenpl.org/events.

While you are on WCPL’s website, be sure to check out a variety of other holiday-inspired programs for adults including a create-your-own holiday book page garland, as well as a make-your-own holiday wood slice ornament. Undoubtedly, you will find plenty of activities to help you “deck the halls” this season.

Whether you are snowed in with no place to go or constantly on the move trying to get that holiday to-do list under control, the Warren County Public Library encourages everyone to take the time to promote educational opportunities for the young and old alike this holiday season. We are grateful for the privilege to have served you throughout this year and look forward to helping you keep those resolutions to read more and save money by taking advantage of WCPL’s free services in 2018!