Summer Reading Program now open for St. Charles Parish students

The St. Charles Parish Library recently announced the opening of its annual Summer Reading Program for local residents, beginning June 1st and continuing until July 31st at all parish library locations.

“The St. Charles Parish Library has hosted a successful Summer Reading Program for over 40 years,” Lauren Pitz, Assistant Director of St. Charles Parish Library, said of the library’s summer program. “It is, by far, our longest running program.”

The parish library’s Summer Reading Program has two parts, the first of which is its Reading Challenge. Participants in three age groups – birth to 5th grade, teens (6th grade to 12th grade), and adults – are challenged to read six hours during the summer. Each participant receives a registration incentive after signing up. Upon completion of the program, participants receive an award and an entry into a grand prize raffle.

The other component of the Summer Reading Challenge are the special events the St. Charles Parish Library hosts throughout the summer at various locations.

“We hire performers from around the country and work with local groups to offer engaging events featuring performing and visual arts, literature, STEM, and more,” Pitz said of the library’s special events lineup. “They bring unique experiences to St. Charles Parish residents, which offer a broader worldview for attendees.”

The program is available at all six of St. Charles Parish’s locations, including its Destrehan, Luling, St. Rose, Norco, Paradis and Hahnville locations. The program is a national imitative, Pitz said, initially created for public libraries to help children and teens combat the “summer slide” which comes during the extended break from school.

“Learning loss often occurs during the summer months when students are not being exposed to as many educational activities,” Pitz said. “Studies have shown that this ‘summer slide’ can be lessened by exposure to a culture of reading and learning, which occur during trips to the library.”

Incentive awards this year for participating in the program include lip balm, umbrellas, sunglasses, charging cable set with earbuds, bookmarks and flexible pencils and puzzles. After signing up, students can collect their awards at any library location after reading 360 minutes and become eligible for the library’s grand price drawings.

The St. Charles Parish Library had rebounding attendance this past year, posting impressive attendance numbers for its various summer month programs.

“We had a total of 2,139 people sign up for the reading portion of the Summer Reading Program last year,” Pitz said. “We offered 213 programs across all age groups and had 5,551 people attend those.”

Pitz said the program is still rebuilding its summer reading attendance and participation since 2020 and COVID, but the library has seen increases each year.

Participants can download the library’s Beanstack app, which allows participants to track their reading progress wherever they are.

“We use this to know how many people are participating, and when they reach the reading goal of having read 360 minutes,” Pitz explained. “Most people are able to sign up for a Beanstack account and keep track of their time spent reading on their own.”

For more details on the St. Charles Parish Library’s Summer Reading Program, interested residents can visit any library location or visit the library’s website page. Beanstack apps can be downloaded for use at


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