Indiana mascot at library

Local youth still have time to participate in The Indianapolis Public Library’s summer reading program, “Imagine Your Story.” 

The 101st summer reading program will continue through Aug. 1.

“The primary thing we try to work on is preventing what they call ‘summer slide,’” Sharon Bernhardt, juvenile program manager, said.

According to Bernhardt, “summer slide” occurs when children don’t retain their reading skills during school breaks.

“By the time they get back to school, they’ve lost some of the skills they had when they left,” she added.

To prevent this issue, the library made some significant changes to this year’s program. The program now allows youth to log the amount of time they spend reading, as opposed to the number of books they read. Participants are encouraged to read for one, five or 10 hours total. 

So far, 9,794 summer readers already have logged nearly 57,000 hours of reading, and 4,411 children have completed the 10-hour reading goal.

Bernhardt, who’s been with the library for 53 years, has noticed significant differences in the way children read over the years. 

“I think reading has a lot of competition now with screen time,” Bernhardt said. “Children like to be on computers or devices.”

The library is keeping up with children’s changing interests and reading habits by not only including library books and books from home, but e-books, magazines, graphic novels and audiobooks are also accounted for in the program. 

Children and their parents can also use the online app, Beanstack, to report reading progress, or call their local branch.

Prizes, such as books, drawstring backpacks and bicycles are awarded to the youth for achieving reading milestones.

Contact newsroom intern Mikaili Azziz at 317-924-5143. Follow her on Twitter @mikailiazziz.

Summer reading fun

Youth can register for the Indianapolis Public Library’s 101st summer reading program, “Imagine Your Story,” through the online reading tracking app Beanstack, which is available at indypl.beanstack.org, Apple App Store and Google Play store. 

Those who need an alternative way to register can call a local Indianapolis Public Library branch.

The program ends Aug.1. For more information, visit indypl.org/srp/kids.

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