Column: Summer Reading Program a launching pad


Commentary by Sam Montgomery

Growing up, I was an avid reader. I vividly remember slugging a bag full to the brim with books over my shoulder before giving up and handing it to my father, who would shoulder the load until we got home and I excitedly showed all of my library finds to my mom.

However, as a young reader, I often lacked direction. I loved the stories, but why was I reading them? Why was I spending so much time on books when I could be playing outside?

CIC COM 0602 Summer Reading column

That’s where the Carmel Clay Public Library Summer Reading Program came into play. With prizes to win and fun to be had, it spurred on my peers and I to read as much as possible.

Indeed, the program can be integral to the development of a child. I ended up becoming a proud participant and active member of the library’s Teen Library Council, and I credit the Summer Reading Program with giving me the jumping-off point to be an active, contributing member of my community and a passionate reader.

Considering the amount of time physical distancing measures are likely to be in place, I’ll still be reading a lot. But with the program online for the summer, I hope it will reach a much larger number of participants, especially considering the nature of the prizes offered.

This year, instead of individual prizes, most rewards for reading will be food donations to the Carmel Summer Meals programs, a Carmel Youth Assistance Program initiative that provides food for Carmel families during the summer. Children participating will be able to earn a badge for a free book as well as one for a food donation to the Carmel Summer Meals Program.

Plus, everyone who signs up for the Summer Reading Program will have standing overdue fines erased.

Books have always offered a degree of escapism, so I hope you’ll pick one up alongside me as I try to forget I’m still at home.

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Sam Montgomery is a Current Publishing intern, student at Carmel High School and member of the CCPL Teen Library Council.