By Teri Vance

This year’s Summer Learning Challenge at the Carson City Library is shaping up to be out of this world.

“Our theme this year is A Universe of Stories,” said Maria Klesta, the library’s creative learning manager. “Every Summer Learning Challenge event will be space-oriented. We have some great events lined up, which can be found on the Carson City Library website.”

The program is designed to encourage people of all ages to read over the summer, while providing educational activities and events.

The challenge is divided by age, with ages 0-5 years old completing a series of activities with a parent or caregiver. Ages 6-11 have a goal of reading at least 20 hours, ages 12-17 reading 30 hours and 18 and older reading 40 hours.

“Participants will earn incentives as they read and complete activities,” Klesta said. “They will earn tickets for the grand-prize drawing by attending programs and writing book reviews.”

The challenge will begin with a kick-off party noon-3 p.m. June 8 at the Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St., where participants can register and receive program information while also enjoying family-friendly activities.

“The main purpose of the program is to encourage learning through fun, interactive experiences,” Klesta said. “It’s also a way to focus on community engagement and offer opportunities to the public that may not be readily accessible to everyone.”

Activities will include movies, such as “Space Jam,” space-themed virtual reality, learning to build and code a space rover, art projects and more.

An inflatable planetarium will be set up in the gymnasium of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St., for 45-minute shows.

“People who attend will learn about constellations and the solar system,” Klesta said. “It’s going to be an exciting event.”

The challenge will run through Aug. 10 when the grand prizes — made up of science-themed gift baskets — for each age group will be drawn.

Participants may register online at or download the Beanstack app on Apple or Android devices. All reading hours must be logged online to earn and receive prizes.

The true reward, Klesta said, comes in the form of learning retention.

“It makes a big impact when kids continue to read over the summer,” she said. “When they go back to school, they are more prepared for the year ahead.”

If you go
WHAT: Summer Learning Challenge Kick-Off Party
WHEN: Noon-3 p.m. June 8
WHERE: Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St.