Year-Round Literacy

Online Reading Challenges
Posted on 08/27/2022
Rachael Ritter

It's that wonderful time of year on the Palouse, where warm summer days are beginning to turn into crisp fall evenings. The area is buzzing with the return of the students and the frenzy of harvesting. Youth are picking out their first day of school outfits, and backpacks are being prepped as we prepare for a more structured day-to-day routine that the school year brings. With the bustle of the Summer Reading Program finishing up, we're excited at Neill Public Library to begin our new season of programming for the school year, including different themes each month and extending our online reading challenges year-round! 


Beginning in September, Neill Public Library will provide youth of all ages with a new monthly online reading challenge through Beanstack, with topics focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Topics are chosen to allow youth to learn more about the diverse world around them and help support conversations and discussions about the full range of human diversity through activity challenges, online resources, and recommended reading lists. 


Our first challenge to start the school year will focus on self-care spotlighting mental health awareness. Many of our youth struggle with feeling unsafe, unseen, and other stressors that impact their mental health. It is vital to have conversations about mental well-being to increase awareness and learn about the importance of self-care. Prioritizing mental health and practicing self-care allows individuals to support all areas of their lives and communities. Self-care knows no boundaries and is something that everyone can benefit from practicing on a daily basis.


Our Self-Care September Online Reading Challenge will begin Thursday, September 1. Youth can log reading and complete activity challenges at or download the Beanstack app. One hour of reading equals one raffle ticket; one completed activity challenge equals one raffle ticket. Three raffle prize winners will be drawn on the last Friday of the month. 


A look forward to the rest of 2022: 

  • October - Sensory Awareness Month
  • November - Native American Heritage Month
  • December - Holidays Around the World


To coincide with our monthly online reading challenge topic, Neill Public Library will provide in-person book displays to coordinate with the youth services' monthly Beanstack reading challenges on equity, diversity, and inclusion. This will help promote the online program and provide onsite resources to youth and families. Along with our book displays, our weekly September Grab & Go Activity Bags will focus on self-care. Grab & Go Activity Bags are available for youth of all ages and can be picked up Mondays at 10:00 am until supplies run out.


We are in the last few weeks of our online Summer Reading Challenge at Neill Public Library, and there is still time to register and complete the Summer Reading Online Challenge! Log your 15 hours of reading until August 31 to receive a $5 gift certificate to Bruised Books; hours can be added retroactively. Thank you, Neill Pubic Library community, for a fun-filled Summer Reading Program, we had some much-needed laughter and connection at the library this summer, and we look forward to a new season of programs, ideas, and conversations with you this fall!