Library to offer Winter Reading Challenge to keep kids reading over break

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Annual program returns Dec. 1 through Jan. 31

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library is bringing back for a fourth year its Winter Reading Challenge, in which students can earn prizes just by reading over break. A twist on CML’s Summer Reading Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge aims to keep reading skills strong when students are out of school over the holidays. From Dec. 1 through Jan. 31, K-12 students can register in person at CML’s 23 locations throughout Franklin County. Those interested can learn more at

The annual program challenges students to track their progress as they read for 20 days and complete five activities on their game boards. Examples of game board activities include “Read a book about a famous person,” “Read a book with a magical creature,” “Tell a staff member about a book you read” and many more. Just for signing up, students will receive a bookmark, mechanical pencil, eraser and sticker. Students who complete the program will earn a book they can keep, as well as a drawstring bag.

Last winter, approximately 7,800 students participated in the program.

Studies show that kids who read during out-of-school time maintain reading skills that are critical to future school success. The Third Grade Reading Guarantee in Ohio means many central Ohio third graders could repeat the grade if they don’t pass state proficiency testing.

This year’s Winter Reading Challenge is supported by Battelle, Altrusa International of Columbus, Ohio and Corde Westwater Robinson. Masks are required to enter CML buildings by order of the City of Columbus and Library Board of Trustees. Children under the age of 2 are not required to wear a mask. CML recently announced that, due to a staffing shortage, all 23 locations will close on Sundays through at least Jan. 9, 2022.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like School Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.


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