More than 20,000 kids and teens took part in The Indianapolis Public Library’s 103rd Summer Reading Program, Camp Read S’more, which ended on July 30. Readers devoted 15,060,234 minutes to reading while earning prizes generously donated by community sponsors.
To celebrate the end of a successful Summer Reading Program, The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation will donate 5,000 books to Books for Youth with the Indianapolis Colts. Through this program, the Colts and the Department of Child Services provide Indiana children in foster care with books to start their own library. Throughout the summer reading program, kids and families dropped off new and gently used books at book donation bins at each library location. This allowed young participants to give back to the community.
“The summer reading program is all about motivating children to keep reading and learning all summer long. Engaging programming, like live animal programs and art classes, brings kids into the branches and inspires learning. It’s also about getting kids involved through opportunities to give back to the community,” said Shael Weidenbach, area resources manager of youth services with IndyPL. “Our partnership with Books for Youth allowed kids to make an impact, and our programming encourages participants to explore interests and make new connections. People view reading as a solitary activity, but the summer reading program has a special way of bringing families and groups together.”
Forty percent of this year’s summer reading program participants signed up as part of a group and read alongside their friends in local summer schools and summer camps. The library visited partner sites throughout the summer to bring programs and events to local schools and organizations. For example, IndyPL visited Charles Warren Fairbanks School 105 with Rowdie, the Indianapolis Indians mascot, to read books and play games with students enrolled in summer camp.
For the third consecutive year, kids kept track of the amount of time spent reading instead of the number of books read. This allowed participants of all reading levels to have an equal opportunity to earn prizes such as passes to the Children’s Museum haunted house, tickets to Indianapolis Indians games, Eiteljorg Museum passes, and free pizza from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Prizes were earned at milestones of reading for 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 15 hours and 20 hours. Participants were entered into drawings for grand prizes including one of two $529 CollegeChoice CD savings accounts or autographed footballs from Colts players.
In addition, the adult Summer Reading Program, Read Outside, had more than 3,800 readers enrolled, allowed patrons to explore great reads and complete activities to earn badges and prizes along the way. Adults earned prizes for completing reading activities and challenges including attending a library program, reading a book by an Indiana author, or visiting Indy Parks.
“We are thankful to the many donors who have made the library’s summer reading programs for youth and adults possible,” said Roberta Knickerbocker Jaggers, president of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. “Their support helped the library bring the community together and nurture a love of reading at every age.”
The 2022 summer reading programs for youth and adults are presented by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. Major corporate and foundation sponsors include the Indianapolis Indians, Lilly Endowment Inc. and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Supporting sponsors include 92.3 WTTS, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Citizens Energy Group, CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan, Corteva Agriscience, Indianapolis Colts, Office of the Lawrence Township Trustee Steve Talley, OneAmerica®, and The Ft. Ben Branch Design & Construction Companies (RATIO – The Skillman Corporation – Davis & Associates, Inc.).