Blast off with the county’s summer reading program

The Maricopa County Library wants readers of all ages to read 20-minutes a day, giving away prizes

PHOENIX – Maricopa County officials are encouraging residents – particularly young readers – to include summer reading in their vacation plans. More than 60 libraries across Maricopa County participate in “Read 20AZ,” the summer reading program, so people of all ages can log their reading online, complete challenges and attend library events to win prizes.

Beginning June 1, participants can start logging their summer reading activities for food rewards at Peter Piper Pizza and Rubio’s Coastal Grill. People who log 1,000 points can choose a free book from an online marketplace, while supplies last.

“Summer is the perfect time to read for fun,” said Bill Gates, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, District 3. “There is something for everyone in the Summer Reading Program, including dozens of community experiences and our digital catalog.  Now you can download and use electronic books and audiobooks to earn your points and complete the Summer Reading Program Challenge.”

Participants can earn one point per minute for reading physical or electronic books (including graphic novels), listening to audiobooks, and also for attending library events, completing online challenges and participating in community experiences.

 “It’s easy to participate: read 20 minutes a day, log your time and enter into a weekly drawing to win prizes,” said Cindy Kolaczynski, Maricopa County Library District Director and County Librarian. “Our libraries do so much more than lend books. They provide early learning programs to children and their families and are centers of community engagement, especially in the hot summer months.”

This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories,” which encourages participants to explore outer space and exercise their minds by reading at least 20 minutes a day. Participants can earn online badges to keep a healthy competition with family and friends.

“Our summer reading program is fun but it is also one of the County’s major community literacy efforts,” said Kolaczynski.  “We love helping kids maintain literacy skills during the summer through games and experiences that create excitement around reading.”

The program runs through August 1 in more than 60 public, tribal and military libraries throughout Maricopa County.

For more information about the program, events, and to register, visit read20az.com.