More than 20,000 kids, teens, and adults took part in The Indianapolis Public Library’s 102st Summer Reading Program, “Discover,” which ended on July 31. Readers devoted approximately 14 million minutes to learning more about the world around them through reading and exploration while earning prizes generously donated by community sponsors.
The 2021 Summer Reading Program offered both live and virtual event options. This year’s program encouraged participants to not only read books but to take part in activities that allow patrons to explore their interests, connect with others, and learn more about their community. From cooking classes to genealogy workshops, there was something for everyone.
Kids Summer Reading Program:
For the second 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.
“For our young patrons, the summer reading program helps stop the summer slide by encouraging kids and teens to continue reading and learning when they are away from school,” said Sharon Bernhardt, Manager of Children’s Services with IndyPL. “This new model, alongside the allure of prizes, helps kids stay motivated throughout the program.”
Prizes such as books, bags, toys, pool passes, and vouchers to local museums and attractions were earned at milestones of reading for 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 15 hours, and 20 hours. The program also allowed kids to complete fun and educational activities that entered them into drawing to win an additional Discovery Mystery Bag.
Adult Summer Reading Program:
The adult Summer Reading Program allowed participants to earn prizes by completing activities in the three categories: Discover Outside, Discover You, and Discover Something New. Adults earned prizes for tasks including gardening, biking, checking out local art exhibits, exploring genealogy, or reading a book in a new genre. Prizes that were up for grabs included a Meijer gift card and a ghost tour at the Central Library.
“We are really thankful for our community partners that have donated generously to the summer reading program,” Jackie Nytes, the Library's Chief Executive Officer. “Your support has helped this program become a staple of the community that connects our patrons and encourages lifelong learning.”
The 2021 IndyPL Summer Reading Program was presented by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. Major sponsors include The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund; Indianapolis Indians; Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and Mary Frances Rubly & Jerry Hummer. Supporting sponsors are BKD CPAs & Advisors; Citizens Energy Group; CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan; Indiana Pacers; Indianapolis Colts; Indy Eleven; Louise Lage Kirtland and Hugh C. Kirtland Endowment Fund, a fund of The Indianapolis Foundation; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Meijer; Office of Lawrence Township Trustee Steve Talley; OneAmerica®, G. Marlyne Sexton; The Swisher Foundation, Inc., in memory of Glenn M. Swisher.