Carmel library’s summer reading program to launch June 1


The 37th annual Carmel Clay Public Library Summer Reading Program will begin June 1 and run through July 31.

The program is open to all ages and is divided into three age groups: Kids (infants through students going into Grade 5), Teens (students going into Grade 6 through age 17/senior year) and adults (age 18 and up).

“Summer reading programs were initially started to keep children’s brains active and stimulated during their summer break from school. That’s still a big part of summer reading, but there are so many other benefits that affect those of any age,” said Kendall Culbertson, CCPL adult services assistant manager. “The summer reading program strengthens reading comprehension; it boosts memory skills; it fosters social-emotional learning; and in the last few years, it has brought us together as a community to work toward a good cause. There’s some real magic in that.”

Participants can earn up to six badges over the course of the program.

“How those badges are earned varies a bit depending on the age of the participant. Kids can either read 12 picture books or read for an hour to earn a badge,” Culbertson said. “Teens and adults simply read one book of their choice to earn a badge. Because summer reading programs were originally created for kids, it might not be intuitive that the program is also for adults, but it absolutely is! We have some awesome gift cards to raffle off for adults this year. Each badge earned gets teens and adults a raffle ticket.”

Participants can pick the books they read – ranging from fiction to nonfiction, audiobooks, graphic novels, picture books, magazines, or as Culbertson put it, “Whatever they fancy.”

“It all counts in our book,” she said.

This year, the library has partnered with Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County for the reading program. The center was founded in 1985 to provide programs and services to help seniors safely age in place for as long as possible. Past partners have included the Carmel Summer Meals Program, the Carmel Winter Food Pantry Program, Hamilton County Kids Coats, the Humane Society of Hamilton County and the Exotic Animal Rescue and Pet Sanctuary.

“We want to impact as many different pockets of the community as we can, and because our seniors are such a prominent and important part of the Carmel community, we chose the Shepherd’s Center as our partner this year,” Culbertson said. “The center will be providing us with a list of their most needed items, such as shampoo, hand soap and laundry detergent. For every first, third, and fifth badge participants earn, the library will make a donation.”

For completing the reading program, teens and adults will receive a coupon for the Foundation Friends Bookstore.

“All participants will receive a mini art kit (canvas and watercolor paints) with which they will create their tiny masterpiece and can then bring it back to the library to be displayed,” Culbertson said. “We’re really looking forward to this community art project and seeing everyone’s creations.”

Participants can register beginning June 1 through the free Beanstack Tracker app or at


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