JOHNSVILLE — In May, June and July the Perry Cook Memorial Public Library will offer the Summer Reading Challenge, a new twist on the traditional summer reading program.

By offering a new Challenge Kit each month, and by starting in May, PCML hopes to keep current A2Z and Little Learner participants, as well as school age children and their adults, engaged with reading throughout the summer.

“Children work so hard all during the school year to acquire reading skills and they tend to lose those skills over the summer,” says Children’s Program Coordinator Jane Wiggenhorn. “Just like any other activity, practice is the best way to keep those skills sharp. We are so excited to try this new way to keep everyone involved with reading.”

Each Challenge Kit comes with a hand folded Challenge Log. The logs contain pockets, filled with items to help complete the challenges. For example, May’s log will contain stickers, origami instructions, an iron-on transfer and a raffle ticket. Each month will feature a raffle, with a different prize. For May the library is offering a four ticket package to King’s Island, donated by King’s Island. June will feature a two ticket package to Snow Trails.

The tickets include all-day lift tickets, equipment rental and group lessons. July’s raffle prize is still in process.

The Challenge Kit is full of materials to assist with completing the challenges. All challenges are designed to support reading. May’s packet includes a canvas bag to decorate and origami paper. “We are fortunate to have been awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the State Library of Ohio,” says Patricia Dollisch, Director.

“With so much uncertainty around COVID restrictions we chose to put that money into art and activity supplies that our patrons could pick up and take with them. Instead of earning the traditional plastic trinkets as prizes for each five hours of reading, readers will get canvas bags and visors, stickers, tattoos, special markers and other treats.” The library has planned for summer by using participation numbers from previous years, but the number of challenge kits is limited.

Interested participants should plan to pick up their kits early.

Those patrons who complete all three monthly challenges will be invited to a Tie Dye event in August. The Summer Reading Challenge will wrap up with a Bubble Blow Out in August. open to all participants. State or local COVID restrictions in place at the time will be strictly observed.

For information on the Perry Cook Memorial Public Library, email [email protected] or call 419-362-7181.

Staff Report