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Denton Public Library challenges community to read one million minutes this summer

Denton Public Library challenges community to read one million minutes this summer

Children sign up for Denton Public Library's 'Million Minute Challenge.' Alec Spicer

Denton Public Library challenges community to read one million minutes this summer
June 14
13:07 2017

Kate Baroni | Staff Writer

The Denton Public Library introduced a new summer program on June 1, challenging Dentonites to collectively read for one million minutes over the summer.

“Most public libraries offer some kind of summer reading program as an incentive to keep kids reading,” Jennifer Bekker, the director of DPL said. “[We’re] letting people know it’s a way they can participate and collectively build the community up with literacy.”

The challenge will last from June 1 to August 4. In order to participate, contestants must complete two separate reading logs and return them to the library. The contest is for all ages.

Both reading logs have the same requirements, which are to read five hours and do five things for the community (such as picking up litter or helping a neighbor). After completing the first one, the reader will receive a free book. Completing the second one enters the reader into a prize drawing.

There is also an optional third reading log contestants can complete if they choose. Each time they complete a following reading log, their name will be re-entered into the prize drawing another time. There are no limits to how many times a person can enter their name into the prize drawing.

Bekker said the prize drawing is broken up into different age groups. Participants ages 0-4 will be entered to win one of two Preschool Building Prizepacks, while those ages 5-10 will have a chance to win one of two Elementary Building Prizepacks. A Prizepack is a pack of construction toys to symbolize helping build the community.

University of North Texas Communication Design professor Jude Landry reads to his son for the One Million Minutes Summer Reading Challenge hosted by the Denton Public Library. David Urbank

Two readers from those ages 11-17 will receive a Google Chromebook, and three contestants who are 18 or older will win one as well.

Lastly, once the second reading log is complete, kids and teens 17 and under will be invited to a party at Denton’s Water Works Park on August 5.

Camila Cardenas, 11, is participating in the challenge. She said she just started participating, and is doing it because she likes to read and wants a Chromebook.

“I’ve never done anything like this, but it’s a pretty big challenge,” Cardenas said. “For people that don’t like to read that much, it could probably help them to read more.”

Participants can sign up and get a reading log at any of the three Denton library locations. There are no restrictions on what participants can read, including audiobooks and reading aloud, such as parents reading to children.

Stacey Irish-Keffer, the youth services librarian at the North Branch Library, stated in an email that over 2,000 people have signed up so far. Bekker said since June 9, which was the first day to turn in logs, Denton has logged 59,700 minutes.

Bekker said while DPL has always had summer reading programs, this one is different because it’s a challenge. The purpose though, remains the same.

“Often students who aren’t in school during the summer, they have what is called the ‘summer slide,'” Bekker said. “If they aren’t reading regularly … by the time they start back in the fall they’ve actually gone backwards on their reading level.”

The challenge is co-sponsored by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Denton Municipal Electric, DATCU Credit Union, Morrison’s Milling, and the Friends of the Denton Public Libraries.

Bekker said she was excited about the opportunity to see how Denton responds to a reading challenge, as well as the ways people help and participate in their community.

“We feel very confident Denton can read one million minutes this year,” Bekker said. “And we know that with everyone’s participation we will definitely reach that goal.”

Featured Image: Children sign up for Denton Public Library’s ‘Million Minutes Challenge.’ Alec Spicer

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