Challenge takes place June 8 through Aug. 24, features prizes for all ages

HENDERSON, Nev. Henderson Libraries is helping kids and adults alike bring their summers to life with The Henderson Libraries Summer Reading Challenge, which will take place June 8 through Aug. 24.

The Summer Reading Challenge used to be called the Summer Reading Program. However, survey results showed that many people thought the term “program” implied it was for those struggling with reading and, thus, did not take part.

In actuality, the Summer Reading Challenge encourages families to make reading a part of their summer by offering prizes that range from rewards out of a treasure box to tickets for well-known local attractions, such as the Mob Museum and the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.

While the prizes add an additional incentive, summer reading is especially important for local children, as the Clark County School District is no longer offering year-round schooling. While it can be pretty exciting for kids to leave behind homework and waking up early when the school year ends, it’s critical parents make sure their child’s education and development isn’t forgotten altogether over the next three months.

According to “The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement,” a study conducted by Beth M. Miller, Ph.D. and commissioned by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, children who do not read during the summer often lose a portion of what they learned the previous school year, making it necessary for them to catch up during the first couple of months of the new school year. This compounds over time and adds up to a lag of two or more years in reading achievement during the elementary years.

That being said, summer reading challenges aren’t just for kids.

“Summer reading activities are typically associated with kids, but, in fact, they offer a fun way for people of all ages to keep busy during the summer months,” said Tom Fay, executive director for the Henderson Libraries. “We encourage everyone to set some time aside this summer for a good book.”

This year’s theme for the challenge is “breaking new ground.” Details for each age group include:

The children’s Summer Reading Challenge is split into two groups: school age (ages 5-11) and preschool (ages 0-4).

School age readers can choose a prize from the treasure box after they read five hours, 10 hours and 15 hours; at 20 hours, they receive a ticket to the Shark Reef at MandalayBay and a book.

Preschoolers receive prizes from the treasure box at two-and-a-half hours, five hours and seven-and-a-half hours, and a book and a Great Harvest Cookie coupon at 10 hours.

Teens who read for two hours and each week and maintain an online log of what they read will be entered into a weekly prize drawing. After teens read for 20 total hours, they will receive a book, a coupon to Jamba Juice or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and will be entered in a grand prize drawing.

Adults will record the time they spend reading, rather than the number of books they’ve read. Any reading counts – reading traditional books or e-books, listening to audio books, and even reading to children. Prize levels for adults begin at 1,000 minutes, with additional levels at 2,000 and 3,000 minutes. In addition each hour read will count as an entry toward the end of the summer grand prize drawing which will include prizes like tickets to the Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas, a golf package at Legacy Golf Club, a $100 basket from Trader Joe’s, a gift certificate from Pura Vida restaurant and more. Attendance at any Henderson Libraries book club or any Adult Summer Reading Challenge program will also count as one entry toward the grand prize drawings. Patrons may also enter Henderson Libraries’ district-wide photography contests (see library for details).

Those wanting to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge can register online at or in person at any of Henderson Libraries four locations. (Only those age 50-plus can register at the Heritage Park Library, as the HeritagePark facility is age-restricted.)

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 ClarkCountySchool District and all other libraries around the state to provide quality service for Nevada’s residents.

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