Delaware First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney was set to host a virtual kick-off of the 2020 statewide Summer Library Reading Program, Imagine Your Story, on Wednesday, June 17, at 10 a.m. with State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. The launch is co-sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts and was set to feature a virtual performance by Turtle Dance Music with Matt Mazar.

“Promoting foundational language skills is a critical part of giving all of Delaware’s children a ‘first chance’ to succeed,” said Carney, who convenes the First ChanceDelaware initiative and serves as honorary chair of the Delaware Library Card Campaign and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library pilot program. “The library habit supports educational success and also supports strong families, with two-generation programs and access to a range of services. I’m very proud of my Delaware library card, because of what it does for me and what it represents for our community.”

The virtual kick-off could be accessed at the Delaware Libraries website at delawarelibraries.org, along with details about the program and registration.

Delaware libraries are noted for hosting the longest running statewide public library summer reading program in the nation. Now in its 42nd year, the annual Summer Library Reading Program provides early literacy programs to help children build and develop reading and language skills; teen programs that motivate teens to read and discuss literature; and programs that encourage adults to experience the joy of reading.

“Librarians help to generate a passion for reading and learning,” said Gov. John Carney. “A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires, encourages creativity and prevents the summer slide.”

“For more than 40 years — for generations of Delawareans — Delaware libraries have been cultivating reading and learning passions,” said Norman. “Whatever your interest, whatever your talent, the library supports it.”

Young “pre-readers” (children who can’t yet read) can get credit for books that are read to them. Throughout the summer, online this year, libraries provide a variety of fun and educational arts, cultural, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs to encourage reading and spark curiosity.

Registration for the Summer Library Reading Program at all public libraries is free online. Incentive badges are awarded based on reading and activity milestones. Delaware libraries encourage Delawareans of all ages to track their reading and learning during the summer and throughout life. A variety of tips, tools and techniques for tracking individual interests are available on the Unleash Inner Genius guide.

Visit the Summer Library Reading Program website for the schedule of online events throughout the summer. The Performing Arts component of the program, including Turtle Dance Music, is sponsored in partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts.