The Imagine Your Story Summer Reading Challenge Is Coming!

by Programming Coordinators Jillian Boudreaux, JoAnna Reeves and Jennifer Rifino

The library invites the community to tap into their imagination and dream of new beginnings, middles, and endings with this year’s 2020 Summer Reading Challenge “Imagine Your Story,” designed to inspire patrons of ALL ages to dream big and envision their own story. 

The library invites participants to let their imagination run wild with a good book and read as many minutes as they can, and to visit lands near and far, real and fantasy, from the comfort of their homes where they will be transported through our fun, free virtual online events with the children’s, teen and adult summer reading challenges.

Registration for the 2020 “Imagine Your Story” Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) officially begins on Friday, May 15, and will end on Saturday, August 8. Here’s how to register:

  • Children 0-11: Starting May 15th, log onto the library website,, and click on the “Imagine Your Story” icon from home 24/7 or from any library branch during regular branch hours once reopened. Children ages birth to five will participate in our first ever fully online Early Literacy Summer Reading Program, while children age six to 11 can join the R2 Club!
  • Teens 12-18 & Adults: Log onto the library website,, and click on the “Imagine Your Story” icon from home 24/7 or drop by any library branch during regular branch hours once we have reopened.  
  • Everyone can visit their favorite branch after June 1 to receive their registration prize.  Call to confirm open hours.

Children ages birth to 11 are to read (or be read to) for 12-hours during this period.  All children receive a brag tag and necklace for signing up. Upon reaching the 12-hour goal, they earn a certificate of achievement and a free paperback book that they can keep. Participants can complete virtual missions for extra points and prizes specific to their age group. Check the library webpage for complete details.

Teens ages 12 to 18 and adults ages 19 and up will also participate in the 12-hour reading challenge to win prizes.  In addition, teens and adults can play bingo and/or attend virtual programs to win extra prizes. A “Black-Out Bingo” for teens earns them an autographed* YA novel (*while quantities last); adults will be entered into random drawings for reading lights and gift cards.  

Special “Imagine Your Story” virtual events have been scheduled for all age groups throughout the summer using the Zoom platform. Please review the “Zoom into Summer Reading” section on our Summer Reading Challenge page for guidelines, how-to’s, and handy tips on the Summer Reading Challenge and attending virtual events. 

The Summer Reading Challenge commences with the “Imagine Your Story” SRC Virtual Kick-off on Friday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m.  Join Program Coordinators JoAnna Reeves, Jennifer Rifino and Jillian Boudreaux and special guest Jester Jim for an hour of family fun.

Children’s events will explore fairytales, folklore, mythology, and more.  Virtual special guests will include puppet shows with Calliope Puppets, music and storytelling with Didgeridoo Down Under, science workshops with Mad Science, yoga and more.  Our children’s librarians will host virtual storytimes for younger children as well as interactive craft, art, and other hands-on activities for older kids.  Craft supplies will be available for pick-up at the library.

Teen virtual events will include D.I.Y. craft projects (participants can pick up the materials at the library), book clubs, Animanga Clubs, Creative Writing workshops, and weekly visits with special guests including artist-in-residence Jennifer Waller, Sherri Hansen with Culinary Kids, Anime artist Carlos Nieto III and more!

Virtual programs for adults ages 19 and up will include craft classes, yoga, writing workshops, and book clubs just to name a few!

Public libraries offer their communities a constructive way to spend the summer. The Summer Reading Challenge seeks to instill a lifelong love of reading in St. Tammany Parish youth and to involve them in rewarding and stimulating activities.  Studies have shown that the effects of summer reading programs improve reading comprehension skills between school years.  “Now more than ever we need to connect. Reading, telling stories, playing and learning are great ways for families and friends to spend time this summer. Not to mention that the Summer Reading Challenge is fun! The St. Tammany Parish Library is here to support our communities’ imagination” said Tanya DiMaggio, Assistant Director of Support Services.

While all library programs are free and open to the public, online registration is required for each event by visiting the library’s website event calendar at

For more information on the St. Tammany Parish Reads Challenge or other library programs, call your local branch library, check the calendar of events on, or contact Children’s Services Coordinator JoAnna Reeves at 985-893-6280 ext. 2017, Teen Services Coordinator Jennifer Rifino at 985-626-9779 ext. 3004 or Adult Programming Coordinator Jillian Boudreaux at 985-893-6280 ext. 2010

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