‘Explore Summer: Build a Better World’ is underway

Summer is time for activities and Sno-Isle Libraries is chock full of opportunities for kids and teens to build, create, read and have fun.

For 2017, the Explore Summer theme is “Build a Better World” and all 22 community libraries across Snohomish and Island counties have lined up a summer’s worth of activities for children and tweens/teens, said Leslie Moore, children's and outreach services manager for Sno-Isle Libraries.

“Sno-Isle Libraries is the perfect place to help your imagination take off,” Moore said. “Join us at any of the community libraries or online for books, movies, music, activities and a whole lot of fun.”

Books and reading are central to Explore Summer: Build a Better World. Studies show that students who take part in summer reading significantly improve their reading skills and are more ready when they return to school in the fall.

Part of Explore Summer is a reading challenge that allows participants to earn free books. The challenge has four steps:

  1. Register at sno-isle.org/beanstack.org
  2. Track 10 hours of reading on a printable reading log or online
  3. Win! Show the completed log, either paper or online, to a library staff member and then choose a free book.
  4. Keep reading to “Build a Better World.” For every additional 10 hours logged, participants earn a vote for something new at a Sno-Isle Libraries community library of their choice.

“In addition to great books and the reading challenge, we have fun, free programs for kids and teens all summer long to keep them engaged in the joy of learning,” Moore said. “They’re all listed on the Explore Summer calendar online.”

Here are a few of those programs:


Isaac Peterson and The Reptile Man, Scott Petersen, will bring some of the reptiles such as snakes, alligators and tortoises from the Reptile Zoo in Monroe.


Build a bridge using K'nex and learn how to get from here to there.

Wired Up

Staff members from the Pacific Science Center will help participants explore electricity.


From Prof. Fickelstein's Physics Phactory exploring Isaac Newton's three Laws of Motion utilizing physical comedy, mime, music, magic and sound effects to building roller coasters and creating cardboard cars powered by balloons.


Sno-Isle Libraries is all about the Minecraft video game, from introductory sessions to bring-it-on tournaments.

And, for those who can’t make it to a community library, there is Explore Summer – DIY. Print out one of these do-it-yourself activities such as making a paper house, a drum, or story quilt.

Besides the reading challenge and activities, Sno-Isle Libraries staff members have developed reading categories and lists as jumping-off points for young readers.  “We also want children and teens to just enjoy reading and have the fun of exploring and learning,” Moore said.

The Explore Summer booklist categories for children includes:

  • Global Citizens: Learn more about the many cultures and people of the world
  • How We Live: Does your school or home look different from other kids in your neighborhood or around the globe?
  • Makers & Tinkerers:  Are you a maker? Do you love to tinker? Check out one of these books and get to work!
  • STEM: Science activities, experiments and fiction
  • Young Writers & Cartoonists: Learn from authors, illustrators and comic book artists how to create a story or cartoon this summer.
  • The Stories We Tell: Folktales and fairy tales from around the world

Booklist categories for teens include:

  • Build a Better World with Graphic Novels
  • Inspirational Nonfiction
  • Build a Better World with Teen Fiction
  • The Everett Public Schools 2017 Summer Reading Adventure