On your mark, get set, read

HANCOCK COUNTY — Children’s librarians will be counting minutes, not books read, this summer.

Reading 20 minutes a day prevents school-aged children from suffering “summer slide,” or loss of knowledge over the school break, said Hancock County Public Library children’s librarian Catherine Riley. For this reason, those in the kid’s summer reading club at the library will receive an entry into the prize contest for every 20 minutes they read instead of every book read.

Hancock County readers will experience an active, athletic theme this summer with the “On your mark, get set, read!” summer reading program. The library will host two kickoff events — 4 to 7 p.m. June 1 in the community room at the main library, 900 W. McKenzie Road, Greenfield; and 1 to 3 p.m. June 1 at the Sugar Creek branch, 5087 U.S. 52 West, New Palestine.

Kids from birth to fifth-grade age can join the kids summer reading club, while sixth-graders through 19-year-old patrons can join the teen summer reading club. Those age 18 and older may take part in the adult club.

Adults are encouraged to keep reading this summer, especially because it’s important for kids to see their parents reading, Riley said.

The teen reading club will offer more prizes this year, thanks to donations from local businesses, said teen librarian Sarah Ryan. The 10 prizes will range from a limousine ride to a BB-8 robot toy that is controllable by smartphone.

Teens and younger readers are encouraged to bond over reading with a program called “Teens Read the Way,” from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays this summer. Children will team up with a teen buddy, who will read to them aloud, Riley said.

“It’s a nice mentoring program,” she said. “The kids get so excited about their teen buddy.”

In addition to the reading challenges and prizes, the library will provide a variety of themed events for children to adults.

From “Amazon John,” who shows off a myriad of exotic animals, to a talk and demonstration from the Naptown Roller Girls, entertainment options this summer will be plentiful for local families.

Events begin with the kickoff June 1 and continue through the end of July.

Teens will have several unusual event options this summer, Ryan said. She scheduled action painting, which requires safety bows and arrows, sheets and paint in water balloons; an extreme Twister game, which will involve shaving cream and paint; and a croquet game with pink flamingo mallets, just like Alice in Wonderland.

For adults, the library will continue the summer concert series and host Ray Craft, point guard for the Milan basketball team featured in the movie “Hoosiers.” In addition, adult library patrons can feel the “Force” by attending a training session from a lightsaber stage-combat course.

A booklet with details of the program has been distributed to county schools, Riley said; more booklets are available at the library and on its website, hcplibrary.org.

Reading rewards

Adult prizes

Library patrons should get entry slips at the information desk for every book they log.

They can enter prize drawings by placing entry slips in one of 16 marked boxes.

Prizes include

  • Concert Tickets — four lawn seat vouchers to any concert at Klipsch Music Center (specific concerts and dates are subject to availability).
  • Kings Island Admission – four one-day adult admissions to Kings Island
  • Hancock Wellness Membership – Three-month membership, fitness assessment and initial workout with a trainer.
  • Fitbit – 1 Fitbit Zip wireless activity tracker (pink).
  • Wooden Bear Brewing Co. and Pacers Package — $10 Wooden Bear gift card and a Pacers swag bag (2 winners).
  • Gift cards –Starbucks, StubHub, Walmart, Buffalo Wild Wings

Teen Prizes:

Teen patrons should get entry slips at the information desk for every book they log.

They can enter prize drawings by placing entry slips in one of 16 marked boxes.

Prizes include

  • Gift cards — Hometown Comics, Walmart, Starbucks
  • Experiences — Advanced Limousines limo ride, Sky Zone Trampoline Park passes, Shawna Marie Photography senior photo shoot package
  • Themed gift packages — anime, books & coffee and art themes
  • Reading gifts — books or a Kindle Paperwhite

Kids Prizes:

Read 20 minutes each day, then log time by logging into library account and selecting Add/View Log.

Earn Prizes for reaching reading milestones:

  1. Read 1 hour (60 minutes): Raid the prize stash! Choose one free small toy from the Children’s Desk.

  1. Read 5 hours (300 minutes): pick out a free paperback book from the book cart.

  1. Read 10 hours (600 minutes): receive a packet of coupons for free food and treats from local businesses.

  1. Read 15 hours (900 minutes): choose a free class, activity, or experience from a local business.

All reading prizes must be earned and picked up by Monday, August 1 at 9:00 PM.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.