A Universe of Stories

May 7, 2020 | By: Communications Staff

Summer Reading Challenge 2019

The St. Joseph County Public Library is launching into summer with their annual, all-ages Summer Reading Challenge. Beginning on June 7 and ending August 3, the Challenge offers incentives to encourage children, teens, and adults to read. Every book read is an opportunity to win a prize and to explore a new universe. Grand prizes include tickets to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, a Nintendo Switch, and a South Bend Night Out package.

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to the public. Individuals and families can register at:

  • the Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off Party at the Main Library on Friday, June 7, from 4 – 8 p.m.
  • sjcpl.org/summer-reading
  • any SJCPL branch

Books open up worlds, both real and imagined. For adults, they can be relaxing or thought provoking. They expose teenagers to empathy and acceptance. They help children maintain learning momentum over summer break. During the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge, 5,339 participants aged 0-99 read all summer long. Children and teens spent over 2 million minutes reading, and adults read over 8,000 books.

The Library’s Summer Reading Challenge cultivates a love of reading from a young age by encouraging children to read books of their own choosing. As someone who witnesses the impact books have on children, SJCPL’s Youth Services Manager Theresa Horn, can attest: “There is something really powerful that happens when a child is able to choose their own book. When kids are allowed to chose books that interest them, they are more likely to enjoy reading and become lifelong readers.”

Every minute spent reading this summer counts towards Summer Reading Challenge goals and milestones. Individuals sign up for the program based on their age.

  • Children’s Program (0-12): toy and book prizes are given out at the 200, 400, and 600 minute mark. Raffle entries are earned for every additional 200 minutes (up to 3000 minutes). The Children’s grand prize is tickets to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago with a gas card.
  • Teen Program (13-18): prizes are given out at 200, 400, and 600 minute mark. Raffle entries are earned for every additional 200 minutes (up to 3000 minutes). The Teen grand prize is a Nintendo Switch and a Target gift card.
  • Adult Program (19-99): a raffle entry is earned for every 5 books read (up to 30 books). The Adult grand prize is a “Choose Your Own South Bend Adventure” package including dinner, a hotel stay and tickets to a show.

In addition to reading, raffle ticket entries are also earned by completing bonus activities. Visit sjcpl.org/summer-reading for more information and the full list of prizes.

The Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off Party will take place Friday, June 7 from 4-8 p.m., in the staff parking lot behind the Main Library in downtown South Bend. Staff members will be available to help with registration for the Summer Reading Challenge. There will also be fun activities for the whole family, including an inflatable giant slide, a selfie booth, and music.

SJCPL will keep the party going all summer long with these featured events:

Clay Fire Territory presents a special storytime with crafts

Tuesdays, June 11 & 25 | 10:15 a.m. – Francis Branch

Meet the animal who put the “chill” in “chillaxing.”  Reservations required.

Tuesday, June 25 | 11:00 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. – Main Library

Find out what it is like to live in space.

Saturday, July 13 | 4:00 p.m. – Centre Township Branch

You have 30 minutes to work as a team to avoid a catastrophic lunar crash landing.

Saturday, July 20 & Monday, July 22 | 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – River Park Branch

The St. Joseph County Public Library would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of our 2019 Summer Reading Challenge: Teachers Credit Union, Tire Rack, and Tri City Data & Electric. Raffle prizes have been generously donated by Barnes & Noble, Cafe Navarre, Chick-fil-A, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Kroc Center, Science Central, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, South Bend Cubs, Strikes and Spares, Martin’s Supermarket, Mega Play, Meijer, The History Museum, The Music Village, South Bend Venues, Parks and Arts, and Wine & Canvas.

News Media Contact: Jennifer Henecke, Communications Specialist, j.henecke@sjcpl.org 574-235-4190

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