Photo of Red River Valley Kids Read project
Awesome Foundation

Regional Libraries to Host Red River Valley Kids Read Project in March


This year’s Red River Valley Kids Read regional reading program for kids features the book “Summer Ruins” by South Dakota author Deb Watley. A partnership between the public libraries in Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Grand Forks and Wahpeton, this reading project runs from March 1 – 31 at all partner libraries.

Summer Ruins by Deb Watley

“Summer Ruins” is about a young girl whose parents are archeologists, and she joins them on a teaching dig in South Dakota where she learns the dig process (and some other important life lessons). Libraries will host multiple archeology-related events in conjunction with the book reading, as well as book discussions, and even a tour of NDSU’s archeology lab.

Children throughout the valley are invited to read the book, attend an author visit and take part in book-related events. A limited number of free books will be available beginning March 1 thanks to a donation from the Friends of the Fargo Public Library and a grant from the Awesome Foundation: Cass Clay. “Summer Ruins” is most appropriate for kids in grades 3 and above.

Related events offered as part of this event series at the Fargo Public Library include:

  • An author visit from Deb Watley, all ages are welcome to attend her presentation Saturday, March 11, at 2 p.m. at Bonanzaville, 1351 Main Ave. W., West Fargo. Watley will share what she has learned about the science of archeology and how she researches and writes her novels. Watley is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the South Dakota Archaeological Society. Following the presentation, Bonanzaville curator David Hubin will provide a guided tour of the historical artifacts in the Main Building. No registration is required to attend this event. This event is most appropriate for kids ages 8 and older.
  • Kids in grades 3 to 7 are invited to experience “Summer Ruins”-related activities, book discussion snacks, and crafts as part of the March Going Places Book Club session Tuesday, March 14, at 4 p.m. at the downtown Main Library. Space is limited and pre-registration is required online call the Children’s Services Desk at 701.241.1495 for details.
  • Archeology is the study of the past using materials that people left behind. George Holley, archeologist and retired MSUM professor, will visit the Main Library on Tuesday, March 14, at 2 p.m. and will present “Uncovering Pieces of the Past” to explain the practice of archeology. He will provide hands-on activities and participants will view artifacts found in our region. This event is most appropriate for kids ages 8 and older and no registration is required.
  • What happens to the artifacts after they are found? Kids in grades 4 to 6 can learn more about the fascinating field of archeology during a tour of NDSU’s Archeology Lab with John Creese, an anthropological archaeologist and associate professor of anthropology. Tours will take place Saturday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m., 12:30, 2, and 3:30 p.m. Space is limited; pre-registration is required and opens March 11. Because space is limited, we ask that families minimize the number of adults attending to provide as many children as possible an opportunity to participate. Registrants will receive directions and additional information the day before the tours.

As part of the reading project, kids ages 12 and younger are invited to participate in a reading challenge by logging into the Fargo Public Library Beanstack app and completing activities to earn digital badges related to the book and events. To download the mobile app, visit https://fargolibrary.beanstack.org. Registration with Beanstack is accessible via web browser, Apple or Android apps.

For details about the Red River Valley Kids Read project and related events, contact Children’s Services at 701.241.1495. The Red River Valley Kids Read project focuses on a single title of regional interest in an effort to build an appreciation for storytelling, a love of books and stories, our region, and also a sense of place. The project links Red River Valley communities together through storytelling and quality literature.

Support for this project is provided by Friends of the Fargo Public Library, Cass Clay Chapter of the Awesome Foundation, Friends of the Moorhead Library, Bonanzaville Cass County Historical Society, North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Richland County Historical Society.

Fargo Public Library events are free and open to the public; adults must accompany children ages nine and younger. For more information about the library, its services and a list of upcoming events, call 701.241.1492 or visit www.fargolibrary.org.