Henderson Libraries’ summer reading initiative rises to challenge

New incentives, sponsors help reading program ‘break ground;’ youth ages 5 to 11 logged a total of nearly 2.4 million minutes this summer

HENDERSON, Nev. – This summer’s Henderson Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge saw an impressive increase of minutes read, compared to last year. This summer’s addition of incentives and support from notable sponsors contributed to the success.

The Summer Reading Challenge’s results stayed true to the theme of “breaking ground.” Participants collectively read more than 4.4 million minutes, an increase of 18 percent over last summer’s reading. More than 4,500 kids, teens, and adults signed up for the challenge, with over half being kids aged 5 to 11.  But summer reading is not just for kids; more than 700 adults also participated.

All four libraries saw increased numbers of adult minutes read compared to last year’s results. Total, for all four libraries, more than 1.2 million minutes (19,639 hours) of reading were recorded by adult participants, up from last year’s 964,895 minutes.

Additionally, the totals for all four libraries saw an increase in overall minutes read for all youth, across all age groups. Teens increased from 494,410 minutes read in 2012 to 553,818 in 2013. Youth ages 5-11 saw a dramatic increase, from 1,994,346 minutes read in 2012 to 2,383,801 in 2013. Youth ages 0-4 increased from 289,713 in 2012 to 320,384.

The Summer Reading Challenge encouraged families to make reading a part of their summer by offering prizes to every participant. Prizes ranged from a free drink at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, to tickets for well-known local attractions, such as the Mob Museum and the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  One of the grand prizes for adult participants was a Kindle Fire, which was won by a patron of the Green Valley Library.

“Participants were more engaged this year than ever before,” said Joan Dalusung, manager for Paseo Verde Library. “The success of this year’s program is a tribute to the dedication of its participants and sponsors, and we hope to see continued growth in the future.”

Another possible reason for the increased participation was the program’s name change – from the Summer Reading Program to the Summer Reading Challenge.

“People tend to think summer reading programs are just to keep school-age kids reading throughout the summer, but summer reading can be fun for everyone,” said Gayle Hornaday, interim executive director for Henderson Libraries. “Still, we changed the name to the Summer Reading Challenge to help clarify the intent of the initiative, which is simply to get people of all ages reading.”

This year’s sponsors included: Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, Great Harvest Bread Co., Mob Museum, Atomic Testing Museum and Trader Joe’s.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge also included reading programs such as author visits, drop-in story times, Where’s Waldo searches, and Adopt-A-Reader, a program that paired teens with children to read together.

Established in 1943 as a single library in Downtown Henderson, Henderson Libraries operates four locations throughout Henderson. Henderson Libraries cooperates with other public libraries in Southern Nevada, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Clark County School District and all other libraries around the state to provide quality service for Nevada’s residents.

For additional information on Henderson Libraries, visit www.mypubliclibrary.com or call 702-492-6581.

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