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Fort Worth celebrates a summer of exploration and reading

Posted Aug. 9, 2019

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readers pose in front of a sign
Readers of all ages discovered A Universe of Stories during the summer challenge.

The numbers tell the story: Participants of all ages in the Fort Worth Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge read for the collective equivalent of nearly five years — almost 2.6 million minutes — in June and July.

Participants averaged 701 minutes — just more than 11.5 hours each — or the time it would take to drive from Fort Worth to Atlanta.

While the challenge was designed to spark the joy of reading for younger readers, adults were encouraged to take the challenge to serve as models for children and be reminded of the fun of reading. The Fort Worth Public Library provided reading logs for participants to track their time and served as a hub of activities including themed story times and special programs.

Readers ages 5-12 turned in the most reading logs, with 1,696. Adults (age 18 and up) came in second with 859 logs.

“The response to the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge has been incredible,” said Library Director Manya Shorr. “Our hope is that the challenge ignites a spark that keeps everyone — from children to adults — interested in reading all year long. We are here at the library to help you find your next great book to read.”

The Fort Worth Library Foundation provided important support for the challenge.

“We are so pleased to have been part of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge,” said Foundation President Andrea Ash. “The Foundation is all about supporting how the library impacts young lives to help set them up for future success. From summer reading to helping provide regular programming for children of all ages, we know that the ability to read well has a positive impact on individuals and the community as a whole.”

Read Fort Worth’s support of the Summer Reading Challenge ties into its mission to ensure all Fort Worth children read at grade level by the year 2025. The third grade is the focus because studies show that 75% of students who struggle with reading in the third grade never catch up and are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Currently, only one in three Fort Worth third-graders read at grade level.

While this year’s Challenge is over, there is much more to see and do at the Fort Worth Public Library. Visit the library’s webpage to find programs, classes and services available at library locations across the city.

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