Carmel Clay Public Library’s Summer Challenge begins May 30


Parents can struggle to find ways to keep the family engaged during the summer months. The Carmel Clay Public Library has a solution for the whole family in the Summer Challenge reading program, which runs from May 30 to Aug. 14.

“The goal of the summer reading program is to help prevent that summer slide,” said Elizabeth Essink, CCPL children and youth services manager. “Participants will obviously be able to read books, but if they’re a math or science person, they can participate in STEM activities. The goal is building those brain cells and keeping those going over the summer.”

The program is open to children and adults.

“This is not an ageist program,” Essink said. “It really is an all-ages program that exists to encourage reading and lifelong learning. We encourage families to participate together.”

Participants earn badges by reading, listening to audiobooks or doing an activity. They keep track of their activities and then redeem the badges for prizes. Activities include drawing a favorite character, completing a crossword puzzle or performing a puppet show for friends and family.

“They can create an account online from our website beginning May 30, or they can come into the library and pick up a paper tracker,” Essink said. “We’ll help facilitate the online portion so they can track on paper.”

Prizes will be available to pick up beginning June 3. Prizes include passes to select events, stuffed sloths, mystery bags and prize books.

“We wanted to simplify the program a bit from last year,” Essink said. “We have around 9,000 to 10,000 people who participate, so we wanted to streamline the process for them.”

CPPL will play host to a lawn party at the end of the program Aug. 17 to celebrate the end of summer. To register for the summer challenge, visit