Libraries Reach New Heights for Summer Reading During June and July
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ As the dog days of summer heat up, kids oftentimes fall further behind academically. Especially during the months of June and July, libraries have stepped in to help children avoid the dreaded "summer slide." Librarians all over the world are using Beanstack, Zoobean's flagship service, to create custom websites for their reading programs and help kids stay motivated to read and learn.
"For the last two years, Memorial Day through Labor Day has begun our high-use season, setting new records for traffic to Beanstack sites," says Zoobean founder and "Chief Dad" Felix Brandon Lloyd. "If you walk into your local library throughout the summer, you will see a variety of events, resources, and celebrations of reading. Over the last two months, we have seen over one million participants register to for summer reading and learning programs at their library with Beanstack. We are proud to be a part of the fight for literacy and helping kids grow. We know that summer learning loss is a real threat, and reading programs can make a big difference."
New Ways to Fight Learning Loss and Share Best Practices
Research has shown that kids can fall behind in summer, especially in lower income communities, where the majority of their time is often spent in front of a television or playing video games. Most students lose two months of mathematical skills every summer, and low-income children typically lose another two to three months in reading.1
Librarians continue to work to stem that learning loss, even as the current administration has proposed to cut funds to the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the 2018 budget. Libraries are coming up with more ways to keep kids engaged, such as summer reading programs, hot lunches, free computers, exciting (otherwise costly) events. Beanstack makes it easy for families to register and participate in these summer reading programs and to learn about other library offerings. It provides a customized website through which users discover resources, track reading, and earn incentives. Meanwhile, it generates valuable data to demonstrate the library's broader impact.
MARK CUBAN Saw Zoobean's "Secret Sauce"
Founded in 2013, Zoobean has grown quickly, implementing Beanstack at over 600 libraries globally. They picked up significant momentum after drawing attention and a $250,000 investment from MARK CUBAN when appearing on the show "Shark Tank." "I knew early on that Zoobean was special," says Cuban. "They had a secret sauce that I hadn't seen elsewhere. It's not just about the technology, it's a way for people to find something that's right for them, that they wouldn't have even known about. This product is making a difference too, inspiring people to continuously read and learn."
Since Memorial Day, readers have logged over 4.6 million books, 235 million minutes, and 3 million learning activities through Beanstack. Lloyd expects to exceed 5 million readers over the next year. Last year, Beanstack released its 2016 Summer Reading Report Card with 10 case studies to share best practices for all libraries.
Happy Librarians, Happy Readers
With Beanstack, understaffed libraries can now offer an online experience that had previously not been possible, and for their summer reading programs, business is booming.
"I've been pretty busy with everything, and I feel like Beanstack is now making my summer easier," said Julie Wilson of Oldham Public Library in Kentucky. Karin Mente of Mountain View Public Library agrees: "We've had a ton more sign ups than we have had at this point in the summer in years past, and I think this is all thanks to how easy Beanstack has made it to register the entire family at once."
This story from a mother in Newton, MA, relayed by the library's Supervisor of Youth Services, Amanda Bressler, speaks to the excitement Beanstack has helped facilitate, "...[this] mom stops me in the library today and thanked me so much for the summer reading program and said Beanstack has been great. She said her son is 'obsessed' with logging everything in Beanstack. He's doing everything - reading, reviews & activities. The mom liked how it helped him develop in different ways - reading, writing, getting outside and active. She was very appreciative."
Lloyd and Cuban expect to see an increasing number of libraries use Beanstack in the years ahead and to continue to support these libraries' important work in combatting summer learning loss.
1 Afterschool Alliance. (2009). American after 3 pm: The most in-depth study of how America's children spend their afternoons. Retrieved from http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3_Full_Report.pdf
Media Contact: Jordan Lloyd Bookey, Zoobean, 202-735-1005, firstname.lastname@example.org
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