In his final year in office, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will join local families to kick off the 2019 Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge at the Festival of Books and Ideas on June 1.
The event will take place at 10:15 a.m. June 1 at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (Children’s Library on the 2nd floor), 1515 Young St. Parking is available in the Library’s underground garage off Wood Street.
Joining Mayor Rawlings will be headliner Laura Numeroff, author of the popular If You Give A Mouse A Cookie books, Mary Jo Giudice of the Dallas Public Library, children and families, and mascots including Dallas Stars Victor E Green, Dallas Mavericks Champ, and SMU’s Peruna.
After a short program, headliner Numeroff will read one of her books.
Open to all ages, the free 10-week program, which runs June 1 through Aug. 10, encourages the whole family to read every day. Participants can enjoy fantastic prizes and more than 2,500 weekly STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities offered throughout the summer at neighborhood locations.
Registration is now underway at any of the 29 Dallas library locations or online at dallaslibrary.org.
While the challenge officially begins June 1, people may register throughout the summer. In addition to the Festival of Books and Ideas, which is free and open to the public, special kickoff parties will take place at every library location on June 1 or throughout the week.
These include carnival games, space-themed parties, a 90’s party, fire truck show and tell, animal shows, STEAM activities, musical performers, and more.
Participants who sign up by June 1 will be entered in a drawing for four tickets to see “Aladdin” at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Children who read at least 50 books days by Aug. 10 will be entered to win grand prizes including special experiences such as behind-the-scenes access to the lemur exhibit at the Dallas Zoo and Dallas Stars tickets with a post-game meet-and-greet with the team.
“As Dallas mayor for the last eight years, I’m delighted to see how the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge has inspired thousands of families to carve out time to read and make it a favorite pastime,” Rawlings said. “Children suffer quite a bit of learning loss during the summer months, but just 20 minutes of daily reading can counter those effects while increasing literacy and a lifelong love for learning. I look forward to seeing the program’s continued growth as I pass the torch to the new Dallas mayor.”
For 46 years, the Dallas Public Library’s summer reading program has encouraged nearly 330,000 children to read. The Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge is a collaborative effort between the City of Dallas Mayor’s Office, Dallas Public Library, Dallas ISD and dozens of community sponsors and donors.