Are you a family of big readers? Are you trying to encourage your child (or yourself) to put down the screens and make more time for reading this summer? Our local Hancock County Public Library is encouraging residents of all ages to take on the Summer Reading Challenge from June 1 – Aug. 1, with chances for big prizes and a number of free community events. 

Oceans of Possibilities (and oceans of prizes!)

The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Oceans of Possibilities, and the library is decorated appropriately for a trip under the sea. You’ll also find oceans of prizes available for each challenge category. Children aged babies to fifth grade can receive a small prize after their first hour of reading (or listening to someone else read), as well as a free book after five hours. 

Teens will receive a free paperback book and a Libby’s Ice Cream gift card after their first 10 hours of reading. And adults can earn a free pizza from Mozzi’s after their first 20 hours of reading. And for every hour read, participants of all ages will earn an e-ticket for prize drawings that include big-dollar gift cards to local restaurants and businesses like Dairy Queen, Urban Air Adventure Park, Amazon, Hitherto Coffee, and many more. 

Children and Teen Programming

In addition to logging hours and earning prizes with the Summer Reading Challenge, Hancock Co. Public Library will be hosting a number of additional events and activities at both their Central/Greenfield (900 W McKenzie Rd) and Sugar Creek/New Palestine (5731 West US 52) locations. Regular story times at the Central Library will take place on Tuesdays (and Wednesdays in Greenfield), as well as family performances on Mondays, including a balloon artist and magician. 

Elementary-aged activities primarily take place on Thursdays in Greenfield and Wednesdays in New Palestine, and a variety of tween/teen take and make crafts will be available throughout the summer as well. Summer programming will close out with a movie at Riley Park on July 22, where “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” starts at 9:30 p.m. All programming at the library is free, but be sure to check out the calendar and sign up early for indicated events to reserve your spot. 

Summer Programming for Adults

The Summer Reading Challenge is bringing a series of adult events to the library as well, including Brown Bag book discussions on June 14 and July 12, concerts on June 21, July 11 and July 27, and two crafting parties, one for cat lovers and one themed to our “Oceans of Possibilities” reading challenge. Prepare for your July 4 part with a “Culinary Adventures with Pam” workshop, with two options on June 29 at Greenfield and one on June 30 at New Palestine. Evening events include a history of roller derby on June 27 and a visit from an archaeologist on July 18. 

All of these free events are co-sponsored by the Friends of Hancock County Public Library, which conducts discount sales of donated books, games and other media. You can always find a small selection of items for sale at the entrance of the library or you can shop (or donate to) their next big quarterly sale on Aug. 26-29. 

If you have any questions about the Summer Reading Challenge or the Hancock County Public Library, contact their offices for more information.