Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Local Libraries Try to Keep Kids Reading

By Andrew Scalf Jul 3, 2024
The Converse Library and their night sky theme lights.

By: Bryce Crossman and Andrew Scalf

Libraries are continuing their summer reading programs across Grant, Miami and Wabash counties. 

“Studies show that if kids do not read 20 minutes a day through the summer, they actually fall back in their reading level,” Ami Brainerd, director for Troyer Memorial Library, said.

Troyer Memorial Library is located in La Fontaine, and while it is a private library, it is open to the public. 

“We’ve had a lot of participation,” Brainerd said. “Last year we had 61 people sign up and this year we have almost 120 people that signed up.”

To help kids want to read throughout the summer, Brainered said she reached out to local businesses and even the Fort Wayne Tincaps to get incentives for kids to complete reading goals set for each demographic participating. 

Libraries in Converse, Swayzee and Troyer also use incentives to help kids reach their reading goals.

Stephanie Riddle, the library director for the Swayzee Public Library, said that at the start of the summer reading program each participant gets a booklet that contains milestones for the participant to reach.

At the end of the summer participants turn in the booklet for a prize which range from a draw string bag to daily passes to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. 

“This year’s theme is ‘Adventure Begins at the Library’,” Andy Horner, the director for the Converse Public Library, said. “It’s actually part of a nationwide think, it’s the Collaborative Summer Reading Project.”

Similar to the Troyer reading program, the Converse library has a few demographics that can participate. 

“If you attend four of six weeks and meet all your reading goals, then you’re in the drawing for all of our big prizes,” Horner said. “And in that we go to the local businesses, we go to local organizations, Colts, Tincaps…things like that.”

Due to the size of the Converse Library, there is a limited number of people who can fit in the building to participate in the reading programs.

Horner also said that libraries are more than just places to borrow books, they are places of learning and growing community. 

“I just think we should always promote learning, always be learning and promote curiosity. It just makes the community stronger to have readers,” Brainerd said.

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