By Erica Stiner and Shannon Ravelle
Commander, Navy Installations Command
WASHINGTON – Whether you are young or young at heart, the Department of Defense (DoD) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Libraries is challenging all patrons to pick up a book for at least one hour a week this summer.
The DoD MWR Virtual Summer Reading Program, scheduled June 1 to Aug. 31, is open to all customers of all ages to read or read to for one hour. Anyone eligible for MWR services can participate and registration is available at https://DoDVirtualSRP.beanstack.org.
“The mission of the summer reading program is to help families bridge the summer learning gap while inspiring literacy and life-long learning,” said Erika Hoagland, MWR systems librarian for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).
Readers are automatically entered into weekly promotional e-gift card drawings when they log at least an hour of reading time. The top three readers in each age group will also receive a prize. Read from any book, audiobook or magazine, including the MWR digital library RBdigital or Scholastic books.
The MWR digital library, which can be accessed at www.navymwrdigitallibrary.org, is open to Sailors, Reservists, retirees, Navy civilian personnel and their families as well as eligible contractors with MWR privileges. Personnel assigned to the Marine Corps and Coast Guard are able to join.
Many installation libraries are also planning to hold summer reading programs online with more activities, virtual events and reading incentives to earn. In-person events will most likely not be held this summer, but there are many entertaining and educational activities hosted by libraries such as storybook walks and take-home craft kits with curbside pick-up. Find a program near you by checking www.beanstack.com/dod and help us beat last year’s record by reading 60 million minutes this summer.
Looking Back at Spring
The Virtual Spring into Reading Challenge, which was held April 12 to May 16, drew in readers from around the world. In just five weeks, more than 6,400 readers of all ages read more than 4.2 million minutes — the equivalent of eight years!
Ten lucky readers received e-gift cards in weekly promotional drawings for anyone who logged reading time. An additional four reading champions received e-gift cards in drawings of those who completed the program by reading at least 12 hours. The challenge also included online activities to help readers learn about the MWR Digital Library services that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
“Spring reading began as a relaxing activity for the whole family to do at home during the COVID-19 stay at home orders,” Hoagland said. “As the days began to melt together, the spring reading challenge gave us a way to mark the time, an incentive to keep up our new reading habits, and a way to come together while remaining physically apart.”