BOOKQUEST is a fantastic Beloit Public Library program that encourages 4th and 5th grade children to develop a love for reading and explore different genres and authors. It’s amazing that the program has been running for 40 years, reaching thousands of children in the Stateline Area.

The program encourages 4th and 5th graders to read a wide range of books over the course of the year, with the goal of fostering a love for reading and promoting literacy. There is a battle of books style competition in April that adds to the excitement of the program, as it gives the children an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the books they have read and compete against their peers for small prizes.

Part of the BookQuest program is to invite authors into schools to talk with children. The opportunity to hear from an author is a wonderful experience for the kids. Author visits reach more than a thousand children each time. One story from this year: a diverse student from Garden Prairie Intermediate School engaged the authors after their reading of the book and dialoging with the students. She expressed how excited she was to see the diversity in their book, Where We Come From, and the individuals who wrote it. She continued to talk about her future career plans to be writer.  It is The Foundation’s goal that BookQuest funding allows for a couple of author visits during the year. BookQuest is a program that costs more than $15,000 annually. A large donation from the Family of Judith H. Adams helps fund this special programming. Author visits are extremely beneficial by increase the buzz about BookQuest which in turn, increases participation.

In January 2023, the collaborative authors of Where We Come From visited the Beloit Community. Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, and John Coy stopped by the library on January 23 for a small reception. The next day, they reached children from five schools in both the School District of Beloit and the School District of Beloit Turner, taking the time to engage with their young readers and encourage a love for reading, as well as writing. These types of experiences can have a lasting impact on a child’s relationship with books and reading, and can inspire them to continue exploring the world of literature.

The authors visit concluded with 200 signed copies given to students in a lottery drawing to create a more memorable experience for the children, making them feel valued and appreciated.

The participation in the April BookQuest battle of books competition has doubled in size since the authors’ visit in January 2023. BookQuest is a fantastic initiative that is making a positive impact on the education and literary interests of young students.

Supporting Beloit Public Library Foundation is a great way to invest in the future of our community. Programs like BookQuest are important for promoting literacy and encouraging children to develop a love for reading, which can have a lasting impact on their education and future success. Donating to Beloit Public Library Foundation can help ensure that initiatives like these continue to be available for future generations of children. Your contribution – no matter the size – can make a difference and support the Foundation’s mission of promoting literacy and education in the community.


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