Over 3,000 people participated in the Summer Reading Challenge this year, and we had a wonderful time! More than 1,200 participants read at least 10 days and picked out a free book to keep, and nearly 1,000 participants were entered into our grand prize drawings. In total, 43 participants across all ages won a grand prize.
Why does summer reading matter? A recent study of children in 3rd to 5th grades showed that students lost about 20 percent of their school-year reading gains on average. Participating in summer reading – and letting kids choose their own books to read – can have a significant impact on slowing that reading loss. Ninety-one percent of Kindergarten through 5th graders who participated in our summer reading challenge and filled out our survey said they read more as a result of participating.
For adults and teens, reading is a tool that can be used for leisure or self-driven learning. A non-fiction book can be a path to another passion like writing, crafting, or cooking. Readers of fiction, no matter their age, have been shown to be more empathetic, socially aware, and have sharper critical thinking skills. Fifty-seven percent of teens and adults who participated in our summer reading challenge and filled out our survey said they read more as a result of participating.
Additionally, over 4,000 people joined us for special summer programs, such as visits from the Dallas Zoo, teen and adult drumming workshops, Splish Splash Storytime at the CORE, and our End of Summer Celebration. Local teen volunteers donated 743 hours of their time to help make summer reading a success by preparing craft materials, assisting with programs, and shelving books.
We hope everyone keeps finding great books to read throughout the school year. Be sure to join us back at the library next summer!