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NPL Launches Summer Reading Challenge Today

April 13, 2020

We’re Starting the Challenge Early to Inject Some Positivity

  • Register on the Summer Reading Challenge website, and download the app for Android or for Apple, to get started.
  • Any time spent reading, writing, storytelling, or listening to stories counts towards minutes.
  • The more you read, the better your chance to win some great prizes.

With the many challenges that Nashville has endured the past few weeks, the team at Nashville Public Library (NPL) believes we could all use a little more positivity in our lives.

That’s why, beginning Monday, April 13, we’re launching our annual Summer Reading Challenge earlier than usual. The summer-long initiative gives you the opportunity to log the time you spend reading and earn free prizes for your efforts.

Since NPL will remain closed for now, we’ve made some changes to how you can access NPL’s resources to complete the Challenge.

How to Get Started

Joining is simple. Just visit the Summer Reading Challenge website, register your account, and start logging your minutes spent reading.

NPL is providing both paper and digital logs for you to record your minutes. Digital logs can be found on the Summer Reading Challenge website. You can also download the READsquard app to your mobile device and log your minutes there.

Thanks to the generosity of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), NPL is also delivering paper registration and reading logs straight to families. On Monday, April 13, the paper logs will go out with MNPS’s enrichment packets, as part of their weekly meal drops. Just visit one of these schools or bus stops and request a log.

If you use a paper log to register and record your minutes, please retain it until NPL reopens.

The challenge will end on Friday, August 21. As always, it is 100% free to all participants.

What You Can Win

For just registering to participate in Summer Reading Challenge, readers receive a coupon voucher to attend one Vanderbilt University football game, free of charge. After you’ve logged 600 minutes of reading, you receive a prize. What you get depends on your age.

  • Ages birth - 4 — A squirting water toy
  • Ages 5 - 17 — A color-changing mood ball
  • Ages 18 and up — An NPL tote bag

After 1,200 minutes of reading, you’ll get a coupon of your choosing to use at a local Nashville business. These include restaurants, cultural attractions, and other great venues, plus an additional coupon once you reach 1,800 minutes.

And finally, at the end of the challenge, our grand prize winners in the children, adult, and school categories will be selected from a random drawing. Every 600 minutes you log grants another entry in the drawing, increasing your chances to win. 

Grand prize winners will receive gift cards to go on a shopping spree at one of several Nashville bookstores.

All prizes are available only while supplies last.

What Counts Toward Your Minutes

You’ve probably figured out that reading books and eBooks count, but that’s not the only way to complete the challenge. This year, any time you spend reading anything, writing, or telling a story, counts.

We’re encouraging you to think outside the box about how you engage in reading.

Audiobooks, eAudiobooks, newspapers, magazines, comics and graphic novels, and animated storybooks like those featured on BookFlix all count towards completing the challenge. So does reading traffic signs, historical markers, advertisements, and other signs while you go on a walk. As does journaling, blogging, or telling a story to others. 

For fans of our story times, watching any of the livestream sessions NPL is hosting count as well. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for online story time details. If you’ve got kids, the time spent reading to/listening to your children read counts for both of you.

Last, but not least, if you’re already registered for Read to Rise, our early literacy rewards program, the time you spend reading for Summer Challenge counts toward Read to Rise too. Double the points means double the prizes!

If you’re not registered with Read to Rise, don’t wait for the challenge to start — sign up now.

Why the Challenge Matters

If the chance to win free prizes, enjoy reading with your family, and have something productive to do while you’re stuck at home aren’t enough, consider this — Summer Reading Challenge is an investment in Nashville’s future.

When school is out of session, as it has been for several weeks now, what our library traditionally calls “summer slide” can set in. During this time, many students tend to drop reading as a daily habit. That’s led to as few as 34% of Nashville’s third-graders graduating to fourth grade reading at the expected level, according to the 2018 Blueprint for Early Childhood Success.

The Summer Reading Challenge is NPL’s solution. Reading just 20 minutes a day can help keep “summer slide” at bay, and help kids stay reading-ready for school and for life.

So make the investment in our city, and yourself, by joining with NPL for our Summer Reading Challenge 2020.

And please, share your Summer Reading Challenge experiences with us on social media using the hashtag, #NPLsummer. We can’t wait to read them when you do.

Wizard avatar


Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.


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