Nearly 60,000 children and families (59,836) participated in the Indianapolis Public Library’s 2013 Summer Reading Program, “Read Together, Right Now,” the highest number of summer readers since 2004.
The 94th annual program, held at all Indy library locations as well as the Beech Grove Public Library, attracted more than 24,000 children ages 6 to 11 and more than 16,000 toddlers and preschoolers.
With a theme inspired by the pop culture of the 1960s and the iconic imagery associated with The Beatles, this year’s program, made possible by sponsor Indiana Members Credit Union, gave participants a chance to earn prizes for their reading activity, as well as to support literacy efforts to help students in India, South Africa and Mexico served by the Christel House International Learning Centers, and through the Indiana Members Foundation to support local children in need of books. A total of 1,210 books were donated for these causes.
Another component, piloted during the 2012 Summer Reading Program, gave young readers under the age of 18 with library card debts of $5 or more the opportunity to pay off their fees through reading. More than 1,100 children reduced their debts by nearly $25,000 through Earn and Learn, an Indy library initiative that will continue throughout this year.
“We are very encouraged that so many children chose to spend their summer reading and to keep their skill levels sharp during a period that often results in a summer slide,” Jackie Nytes, Library CEO, said in a press release. “Providing not only a philanthropic opportunity but also a way to enable young ones to remain engaged with reading through Earn and Learn is something the library is proud to foster on behalf of the entire community.”
For more information on the library’s early learning programming, call 275-4099 or visit the website at www.indypl.org.