More than 48-thousand children and families read 949,839 books during The Indianapolis Public Library's 2017 Summer Reading Program, "Read It & Eat." In addition to earning points for their reading activity that could be exchanged for reward prizes, children earned points by donating non-perishable food items to Gleaners Food Bank to feed hungry Hoosiers.
Preliminary totals show this year's participants read 15,414 more books than in 2016 and donated 3,002 pounds of food to Gleaners, equating to 2,502 meals for the hungry. Several IndyPL branches noticed large increases in overall summer reading participation from 2016, including the Brightwood Branch (13%), College Avenue Branch (9%), Flanner House Branch (9%), Warren Branch (8%) and Fountain Square Branch (4.5%). The Library's Bookmobile service noted a 4% increase. The Southport Branch (25%) and East Washington Branch (125%) also saw increases, mainly due to their reduced services during renovations in 2016.
Attendance at youth workshops related to the Summer Reading Program increased by 15% over 2016.
Registered summer readers were eligible for a drawing to win two college savings accounts worth $529 from CollegeChoice CD. The winners are 10-year-old Orlando Ross, whose home branch is the Brightwood Branch, and eight-year-old Roosevelt Williamson from the Flanner House Branch. Young readers from each IndyPL location will be chosen to receive tickets to an Indianapolis Colts home game, as well as a grand prize winner to receive a VIP 4-pack to a Colts home game.
The 98th annual Summer Reading Program was presented by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. This year's presenting sponsor was OneAmerica®. Supporting sponsors were 92.3 WTTS; BKD, LLP; Citizens Energy Group; CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan; Hartley and Margaret Dellinger; Indianapolis Colts; The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund; Louise Lage Kirtland and Hugh C. Kirtland Endowment Fund, a fund of The Indianapolis Foundation; The Kroger Co.; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Office of Lawrence Township Trustee Steve Talley; Pacers Foundation; Providence Outdoor; Samerian Foundation; G. Marlyne Sexton; Deborah J. Simon; The Swisher Foundation, Inc., in memory of Glenn M. Swisher; and Toysmith.
For more information on IndyPL programs for youth and families, call 317-275-4099.