Build a Better World Summer Reading Program Highlights Featured

The Library just finished hosting its 2017 Summer Reading Program. Did you know that this program is one of San Juan Island Library’s biggest programs? It’s held annually to encourage children, teens, and adults to read and learn throughout the summer months.

Our theme this summer was Build a Better World. More than 500 people participated for free thanks to funding from the Friends of the San Juan Island Library. In case you missed out on the festivities, I thought I’d share highlights and photos for each age group.


Our preschool group met Friday mornings at the Fairgrounds for outdoor stories and activities. Each week we worked on building red wagon planters of herbs and flowers. The children made their own recycled watering canisters, started seeds, created signs for their plants, helped maintain the red wagon planters, and made uplifting greeting cards featuring the Summer Reading Program theme, Build a Better World.

For our final activity, we emphasized building a better world through building community. We held an intergenerational storytime and delivered the greeting cards and red wagon planters to the residents of The Village at The Harbor.

Elementary School Students:

We started the Summer Reading Program with an early out movie, Pixar’s Inside Out, and provided lunch for the students and guests. On June 22 we held a building extravaganza. The children built a variety of structures using Legos, Lincoln Logs, Code-a-Pillars, and K’Nex sets. One team of young builders built a motorized mini Ferris wheel. Later in July, we created bird feeders to take home and also to place in the trees at the Library.

Most of our other events for this age group were held Wednesday afternoons at Friday Harbor Elementary School. Professional performers entertained us with juggling, singing, ventriloquism, rope tricks, and our final performance featured treats made by our own Miss Kathy Babbitt and entertainment by Joe Black, Master Magician.


Library staff created several events just for teens. To kick off the festivities, we hosted our annual make a T-shirt event in the Library parking lot. In July, the teens spruced up our parking lot bumpers by painting them with vibrant colors and messages of reading and summer 2017.

Our final teen event was a Fear Factor-inspired party. The participants underwent a series of challenges to test their fear and courage levels. One of the highlights was eating insects (not live) but deliciously mixed into a Jello mold in the shape of a human brain. Of course throughout the summer months, the teens also read and wrote book reviews to win free books and other prizes such as Palace Theater movie passes and the grand prize of a 3-D printing pen.


The Library had a Bingo program for adults during the Summer. If you marked off three boxes you could enter to win one of three beautiful books. We had 35 entries and a variety of programs were attended and items borrowed. The main Library display table was covered with Lego and both adults and children alike spent hours building a “Better World.” Final Party Family Picnic and Painting the Rock:

We invited families and children of all ages, including teens, to join us for a picnic and painting party at the Rock on Beaverton Valley Road. Thanks to some wonderful volunteers, we primed the rock and had it ready for painting. Our Summer Reading Program assistants painted the Build a Better World message on one side for drivers to see. It was a super fun afternoon. The weather was wonderful and everyone had a great time enjoying each other’s company, eating fresh watermelon, and being in the sunny outdoors. Overall, it was a fantastic finale to our 2017 Summer Reading Program.

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

-Melina Lagios

San Juan Island Library Youth Services Manager

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