Daily reading is a rewarding activity that offers numerous benefits to individuals of all ages. At Beanstack, we firmly believe that winter reading challenges are an excellent way to foster healthy reading habits throughout the year, particularly among students and community members. In order to assist you in encouraging readers to cozy up with a captivating book and actively participate in your winter reading program, we have curated a collection of our top tips for winter reading challenges.
Save time with reading challenge templates
Planning a reading challenge from scratch can often be overwhelming. However, when it comes to winter reading challenges, it doesn't have to be a time-consuming process. Instead, take advantage of Beanstack's pre-made reading challenge templates to simplify your planning and work more efficiently.
Launching a reading challenge has never been easier with Beanstack's templates. In just a few clicks, you can customize your program to perfectly suit your community. And remember, simplicity is key when it comes to challenges. Setting attainable and straightforward reading goals not only encourages engagement but also helps form lasting reading habits throughout the year.
Utilize ready-made marketing materials
To make winter reading an even lighter lift, consider using the pre-made marketing materials that come with your Beanstack challenge template. Our thematic and fun marketing materials will save your staff hours drafting posters in Photoshop. For our annual sponsored Winter Reading Challenge we created a launch kit with two challenge template options—one for a traditional reading challenge and one for our brand new bingo reading challenge—and plenty of flyers, social media images, and even a printable bingo card. These materials are ready to go, though you can always make them extra special by tailoring them to fit your library if you have the time.
Set community reading goals and rewards
The holidays are a time for celebrating community, so why not carry that spirit into the new year by setting a community reading goal for your winter reading challenge? Every year, Christian County Library in Missouri brings its community together during winter reading by working together to read a certain number of minutes in January and donating to a local cause if they hit their goal. Similarly, Texas's Pearl Hall Elementary School in Pasadena Independent School District cultivates an "all-in" mentality among their students by using a community goal and publicizing their progress toward reaching it.
Community reading goals not only bring your readers together, but also galvanize big reading gains. Our 2022 Winter Reading Report found that schools with a community goal had more than three times as much active challenge participation and more than double the total minutes logged as those without a community goal. And libraries with a community goal had 39% higher challenge enrollment.
Taking your reading challenge online is an easy way to keep students and community members engaged, whether they’re visiting the library or reading at home during winter break. Digital apps like Beanstack let readers track their progress on an easy-to-use mobile app and earn fun badges along the way. Readers can also compete with friends on their individualized leaderboard and keep track of the whole community’s progress toward its goal. Plus, your staff won’t have to spend time manually entering reading logs and data.
Engage with community partners
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to community partners to ask for help. Organizations that sponsor summer reading challenges are often willing to pitch in to support winter reading, too. Community sponsors may donate unique prizes, sponsor a celebration for students and community members, or make a donation to a local charity if readers meet their goal. They can also help advertise your winter reading program, which will expand your reach and draw more community members into the library.
If you work at a public library, contact local schools to see if they have a winter reading challenge in the works, and vice versa. With Beanstack’s one-of-a-kind tandem connection, readers can link their accounts and count their reading toward both challenges. And you can collaborate on challenges and encourage everyone in your community to make a reading resolution this year.
There’s no better way for readers to dive into the new year than with a reading challenge! With these winter reading challenge tips, your community is sure to stay engaged throughout the “off-season” and keep reading strong all year long.
Reach out to get started
Not a Beanstack partner, but want to join in the winter reading fun? You can register today and our team will be happy to help you get started.