For the first time Pierce County Library System took its teen summer reading online—and the teens responded—making the Teen Summer Challenge a huge success! Teens were online and engaged at all hours, including 8 a.m. on Saturdays—which is a feat significant for teens.
In the first two weeks of Teen Summer Challenge, almost 500 teens participated—nearly double the total number of teenagers that typically participate in Summer Reading all summer. By the end of the summer a whopping 653 teenagers were participating in Teen Summer Challenge.
To engage teenagers with Summer Reading, the Library took it online using gamification—online gaming. Besides spending time online, teens became involved with their community—in libraries and all across the county.
Teens took seriously to the amazingly fun online program, selecting challenges from a variety of categories and earning badges by posting about their activities. As one mom shared, her teenage girls are now frequenting the local cemetery to search out old tombstones, then going to their library to look up names and dates on Ancestry.com – what a history lesson!
The unique program offered teens a variety of challenges in diverse categories, such as animals, movies and music, and sports and games. Then they earned badges by doing activities in the challenges, such as volunteering at an animal shelter and writing a post about it; reading a dancer’s biography and creating a music video; or going for a hike and posting information about what they saw.
With their first Journeyman level badge, teens received a coupon for up to $5 off their library fines as added incentive.
In addition to record-breaking numbers, teens also excelled in the quality of their engagement. They rose to challenges, learned new skills, appreciated diversity, expressed their thoughts, and connected with family, friends and people they hadn’t met before.
Teen Summer Challenge ran through Sept. 2. The Pierce County Library Foundation awarded an iPad to a winner randomly selected from the top 30 point earners who participated in this year’s Teen Summer Challenge.
Thank you to all summer reading sponsors and community partners.
Tel: 253-548-3300 Fax: 253-537-4600 Washington Relay TTY: 711
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