MONROE, La (KNOE) The Ouachita Parish Public Library and Kiwanis of Greater Ouachita gave bicycles to 10 lucky young readers for completing the summer reading challenge.
“One of the purposes of the summer reading challenge is to prevent the summer slide in school children,” said Library Director Robin Toms. “Children who don’t read during the summer can lose two months of grade level equivalency. The summer reading challenge helps prepare students for the next school year.”
Ten kids who completed the Summer Reading Challenge at the Ouachita Public Library were presented bicycles from the Kiwanis of Greater Ouachita
While all participants of the summer reading challenge received small prizes for reaching benchmarks, those who completed all parts of the challenge were entered in the grand prize drawing. Children who completed the challenge must have read at least 750 pages and completed 15 “tasks,” like attending library programs or picking up trash in their neighborhood. Likewise, adults and teens who read at least 1500 pages and completed the tasks are entered in a grand prize drawing for a tablet and local business gift cards.
“As adults, we know that reading is fun and that it allows the reader to see through another’s eyes, but children may need an incentive. That’s the Bikes for Books program,” said Kiwanis Representative Ann Bloxom Smith. “While many children lose reading skills over the summer, the ones in this program may actually gain skills – and a love for reading – while working toward a new bike.”
This summer, 695 children, 130 teens, and 432 adults reached at least one summer reading challenge benchmark. Patrons read a grand total of 22,646 books and 3,041,150 pages.