CARROLLTON, Mo. – Carrollton Public Library received nearly a $500 grant from the state of Missouri to help purchase software to track the progress and engagement of children who participate in this summer’s reading program.

Sue Lightfood, Carrollton library director, said it’s another level of engagement with the readers and their families, who will participate online during the month of June. Parents can set up a free account to track their child’s progress to earn virtual prizes as they make reading goals. If health restrictions ease, Lightfoot hopes to have in-person activities later in the summer.

“We going to do a virtual program during the month of June – and that’s where this reading challenge software comes into play. It’s a way for the library to track reading, while we gather statistics for our collaborations with the Norborne Public Library,” Lightfood said.

Starting this week, virtual story times will be on the library’s Facebook page – with toddlers and preschool students in the morning and elementary students in the afternoon. The programs continues to Aug. 7.

Registered participants in Carrollton and Norborne will also receive weekly craft bags that coincide with story time theme, “Imagine Your Story.” Each week, new crafts will be handed out during grab-and-go snacks, provided by Harvesters. Snack bags are available to any child who is 18 years old or younger on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

The Missouri State Library approved 141 grant applications in fiscal year 2020, totaling $810,000 in federal monies that the secretary of state’s office distributed.