Vermont Reads

Register Here for the Summer Reading Program
Imagine Your Story

Summer may feel a little different this year, but Essex Free Library is committed to safely celebrating reading and learning with our patrons through the Summer Reading Program. Our calendar of events this year may change as guidelines for safety during the current pandemic are modified.

Summer Programs for Kids & Families

For each activity, take a photo of yourself while doing the activity, send it to Jasmine Hodgett, Youth Services Librarian, at jhodgett@essex.org, and you will receive an entry into the End-of-Summer Raffle! Each photo sent earns you one raffle ticket, so don’t be shy about photo-sharing! Photos will only be viewed by library staff unless permission is granted for wider distribution.

View Our Virtual Programs
Ongoing Events
Mondays at 10:30 - LIVE Storytime for children, aimed at ages 5 and younger. 
Tuesdays at 10:30 - LIVE Storytime for children, aimed at ages 5 and older.
Wednesdays - New CRAFTERnoon Kits available in the library vestibule each week with instructional videos posted to Facebook and YouTube.
Thursdays - Online LEGO Challenge posted weekly to Facebook and YouTube.
Fridays - Sing Along Fridays with Caitlin! Weekly video posted to Facebook & YouTube.


WEEK 1, JUNE 22-26: IMAGINATION

Summer Craft Kit - Family Barn Quilt Block! Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule, and help Essex Free Library create a Mini Barn Quilt Trail to be displayed in the library garden. More details will be included in the kit, and an instructional video will be available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.  

“I Spy” Fairy Garden Window - Our "I Spy" garden is ready for viewing from outside the first window of the Children’s Room. Available June 22nd through July 17th.

Hands-free Dragon Egg Hunt in the Library Garden - Our pet dragon has lost her eggs! See if you can find all 12 of them around the library garden. Available June 22nd through July 17th.

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself using your imagination to create something new, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle!

WEEK 2, JUNE 29-JULY 3: FANTASY

Summer Craft Kit - Edible Magic Wands! Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule, watch the instructional video on our Youtube channel or Facebook page, and create a yummy, magical treat.

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself reading your favorite fantasy story - a story about magical people or creatures set in make-believe worlds - and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle!

WEEK 3, JULY 6-10: MYTHOLOGY

Summer STEM Kit: Icarus Wings or Atlas Tower -  Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule. Help Icarus fly by building a kite OR help Atlas carry the weight of the world by building a tower to hold the Earth! Instructional video will be available on our YouTube Channel or Facebook page.

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself reading a mythological tale from any part of the world, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle!

WEEK 4, JULY 13-17: EPIC QUESTS

Summer Craft Kit: DIY Marble Labyrinth! Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule, and build a marble maze using cardboard, craft sticks, and a shiny new marble! An instructional video will be available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Virtual Performance: Dance with Ashley - Wednesday, July 8th - All who attend this virtual performance will automatically receive an entry into the raffle. To participate, click visit our Virtual Events page.

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself hiking in beautiful Vermont, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle!


WEEK 5, JULY 20-24: FAIRY TALES

Summer Craft Kit: Fairy Houses! Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule, and - using starter materials in the kit, and any additional materials you find around your yard - build a house fit for fairies! An instructional video will be available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Story Walk: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith - Take a stroll along the Trowbridge Crossing path, located behind Essex Elementary School, and enjoy a lively re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, where no one gets eaten (just don’t tell the lion that!). Available July 20th through August 14th.

Scavenger Hunt - Now that we’ve found all our dragon eggs, see if you can complete this new hunt around the Essex Free Library garden! Available July 20th through August 14th.

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself reading TWO versions of your favorite fairy tale, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle!

WEEK 6, JULY 27-31: HEROS & HEROINES 

Summer Craft Kit: Journal-making! Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule, and be the hero or heroine of your own story! An instructional video will be available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page! Take a picture of yourself reading a book about your personal hero or heroine, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle!

Virtual Performance: Crankie Show with Rose Diamond - Thursday, July 30th from 10:30am-11:30am - Rose Diamond - an experienced educator, seasoned performer and visual artist - will present a “Crankie” Show, folkloric stories illustrated on long rolls of paper and presented in motion on a box with crank handles. While displaying the illustrations, Rose will narrate the story to music provided by pianist Michael Hartigan. All who attend this virtual performance will automatically receive an entry in the raffle. 

WEEK 7, AUGUST 3-7: MYTHICAL CREATURES

Summer Craft Kit: Dragon and Unicorn Puppets! Collect your free materials kit from the library vestibule, and create your own dragon or unicorn puppet! An instructional video will be available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page!

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself dressed as a mythical creature, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry into the raffle!

Virtual Performance: CactusHead Puppet Show - Monday, August 3rd at 3:00pm - Join us online to watch the husband and wife team of CactusHead Puppets entertain and tell stories using their hand-made puppets! All who attend this virtual performance will automatically receive an entry in the raffle. 

Family Barn Quilt Block - Return your quilt block in the library vestibule by 5pm on Friday, August 7th for inclusion in the Essex Free Library Mini Barn Quilt Trail. Please put your name on the back of the quilt block if you would like to have it returned to you.


WEEK 8, AUGUST 10-14: CELEBRATION

Essex Free Library Mini Barn Quilt Trail! All Family Barn Quilt Blocks returned to the library by August 7th will be displayed along the fence in the library garden. Stop by to follow their trail from one end of the garden to the other, and celebrate the creativity of the Essex Free Library community!

Weekly Imagine Your Story Challenge - Take a picture of yourself celebrating summer, and send it to jhodgett@essex.org for one entry in the raffle! Please send it by 5pm on Thursday, August 13th to make sure you are included in the raffle drawing!

LIVE Online Raffle Drawing - Friday, August 14th at 10:30am - We will draw four winning raffle tickets from the pot, live on Facebook! Winners will be notified by the end of the day.