Summer Reading Program 2022

Summer Reading Program officially kicks off June 1, and continues through the end of July! Read on to learn more about reading challenges, events and programs for children, teens and adults.

Youth Summer Reading Program

Reading Challenge!

Registration for the Summer Reading Challenge begins May 16. Pick up a reading challenge sheet and reading log at the children’s desk to record your goals and progress.

To kick off a summer of reading, join us for “Dive Into Summer!” on June 1 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Help create an ocean-themed 3-D mural while enjoying live music from Jammin’ Randy.

Return your first completed reading challenge sheet to earn a pass to Exploration Place in Wichita, and be entered into a drawing for fun prizes.

Everyone who returns a second completed challenge sheet by Saturday, July 30, will earn a new book, a bookmark, and a free pass to a pool party at Newton Municipal Pool, on July 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.!

Summer StoryTimes

StoryTimes at NPL feature songs, games, crafts, dancing, and, of course, stories! Pre-registration not required.

Toddler (18-36) months: Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool (3-5 years): Thursdays & Fridays, 10:30 a.m.

Family (all ages): Mondays, 7 p.m.

Elementary Explorers (Ages 6-9)

Be wowed by water with art and science activities, every Tuesday, 10:30-11:15 a.m.! Registration required. Call 316-283-2890, email, or visit the library to sign up.

June 7: Sand and Shells

June 14: Watercolor Painting with artist Susan Bartel

June 21: Octopus Experiments

June 28: Deep Sea Lantern Fish

July 5: Reusable Bags

July 12: Rivers to the Sea

July 19: Fish Prints with Libby Albers of the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams

July 26: Local Waterways with Libby Albers

Guest Performers (for all ages)

June 1, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Summer Kickoff Party with Jammin’ Randy: Kick off a summer of reading by helping to create an ocean-themed 3-D mural while enjoying live music from Jammin’ Randy.

June 15, 3-4 p.m.: Prehistoric Kansas Oceans with the Sternberg Museum. Experts from the Sternberg Museum will share fascinating facts about Kansas’ prehistoric past.

June 22, 3-4 p.m.: Mad Science. Make waves with Mad Science as they explore the vast seas. Have a blast as you encounter a whale sneeze and see a giant jellyfish take flight using the power of hot air! The Mad Scientist will use chemistry to make octopus ink suddenly appear, and use air pressure to create whale sounds.

July 13, 3-4 p.m.: Bilingual Music with Nathalia. Nathalia’s unique bilingual approach to songwriting has made her a prominent voice in the world of children’s music. She has released four albums of entirely original content, all of which were co-produced and performed by notable Grammy Award winners.

July 20, 3-4 p.m. Dan Dan the Magic Man. For the past 20 years, Dan Dan the Magic Man has been traveling to libraries across Kansas, entertaining kids while inspiring a love of reading. All ages are invited to enjoy his exciting, and mystifying, show.

All-Ages Arts & Crafts, 1-2 p.m. June 29 & July 27

Caregivers, children, teens and people of all ages are invited to enjoy crafting together. We will provide plenty of supplies and a variety of creative project ideas!

Teen Summer Reading Program (Ages 10-18)

The Teen Summer Kickoff Party will be Thursday, May 26, 6:30-8 p.m. Come for games, snacks and drinks, and a piñata craft activity.

Reading Challenge

Track your reading with Reader Zone to get weekly rewards!

Those who log 800 minutes of reading (audiobook listening counts!) will score a free ticket to the end-of-summer pool party, July 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Newton Municipal Pool!

Those who go the extra mile and read for 1,000 minutes will be invited to a pizza party at the library, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m.!

How to use Reader Zone:

  1. Download the Reader Zone mobile app, or use the website,
  2. Click “Sign Up” and add your name.
  3. In order to join the Teen Summer Reading Challenge, you will need to enter a reading code. Click on “My Programs” and enter the code 9d77f in the box provided, selecting the correct age group.
  4. Now, log the time you spend reading! Click on “Reading Entry” and start the timer when you’re beginning a reading session. When you’re done, hit the pause icon. Did you forget to start or stop the timer? If the timer is running, click “Reset.” Then click “Manual Entry” to enter your reading time.

Science and Math Workshops from MIT and Stanford Spokes

Engineering students from MIT and Stanford are biking across the United States to offer science and math workshops, including workshops at Newton Public Library on July 11 (MIT) and July 25 (Stanford)!

Youth ages 10-18 are invited to participate. Registration required; contact the library to sign up.

GameZone & Crafts

Head to the library for video games, board games and crafts this summer, most Mondays from 4 to 5:30. Each GameZone will feature a different craft or activity.

June 6: Paint a CD fish with sequins and googly eyes.

June 13: Design a Sea Creature with Legos and Magnatiles.

June 20: Upcycle a plastic bottle to create a diving squid art piece.

June 27: Create a sand art magnet featuring a fish motif.

July 18: Use recycled T-shirts to make a book bag.

Teen Screen Saturdays

Enjoy free movie screenings at the library, 3 p.m. on the following Saturdays:

June 4: The Hunt for Red October (PG-13)

June 18: Flipper (PG)

July 2: Pirates of the Caribbean (PG-13)

July 16: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (PG)

Hands-On Thursdays

Watercolor Workshop: 6:30 p.m. June 9. Paint in watercolors with local artist Susan Bartel. Pre-registration is required; contact the library to sign up.

How to Plant Plants: 6:30 p.m. July 14: Learn how to care for plants! All participants will go home with a plant to keep. Pre-registration is required; contact the library to sign up.

Breakfast Book Club

Like breakfast? Like books? Check out a copy of the book at the upstairs checkout desk. Breakfast Book Club meets the following Saturdays at 11 a.m.

June 4 for Teens: Seafire, by Natalie C. Parker

June 18 for Tweens: One White Dolphin, by Gill Lewis

July 2 for Teens: A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin

July 16 for Tweens: Young Captain Nemo, by Jason Henderson

Adult Summer Reading Program

Reading Challenge

Starting May 16, stop by the library to sign up for the summer challenge and pick up reading record bookmarks. Then starting Monday, May 30, use the bookmarks to log at least 20 minutes of reading per day. (Audiobook listening counts.) Return a completed bookmarks to the library each week and be in the running to win gift cards from local restaurants and businesses!

Those who return at least two bookmarks will also be entered in the end-of-summer grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire tablet!

Book Discussions

Newton Public Library’s year-round book clubs continue to meet monthly during the summer! Book clubs are free and open to the public. Starting about a month before each discussion, copies of the selected book are available to borrow. Just ask at the public service desk. To sign up to get book discussion updates and reminders, click here and select the “Book Discussions” checkbox; or ask a staff member.

June Discussions: The Good Son, by You-Jeong Jeong, Mystery Lovers Book Club, 5 p.m. June 1. Pirate Hunters, by Robert Kurson, Nonfiction Book Club, 12 p.m. June 10. Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse, Third Thursday Book Club, 7 p.m. June 16.

July Discussions: TBD, Mystery Lovers Book Club, 5 p.m. July 6. The American Spirit, by David McCullough, Nonfiction Book Club, 12 p.m. July 8. TBD, Third Thursday Book Club, 7 p.m. July 21.

Special Events

The Wizard Behind Oz: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 7. If you’re from Kansas, you’ve surely encountered plenty of Wizard of Oz jokes and quips. What you may not know is the fascinating story behind L. Frank Baum’s classic tale. This talk from Oz Museum curator Chris Glasgow explores the unique appeal of the first truly American fairy tale, and its impact on our culture, from speech, to music, to media.

Books and Beans: 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8. Books and Beans participants will rotate among tables at Reverie at Mojo’s, 300 27th St., sampling coffee and other drinks while hearing from Hesston Public Library and Newton Public Library volunteers about new and favorite books in a variety of genres. Limited to 25 people; register by contacting Newton Public Library.

Adult Craft Time: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11. Make a crafty keepsake using sea glass and other materials. This event is free, but pre-registration is required. Contact the library to sign up.

Oceans of Kansas: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. More than 65 million years ago, Kansas was covered by a shallow ocean that stretched from Utah to Minnesota. Michael J. Everhart, Adjunct Curator of Paleontology at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, will give a talk and answer questions about this fascinating natural history.

How to Write a Mystery: 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, June 20. Taught by mystery writer Steven J. Kolbe, this free workshop will include a presentation, a mystery novel outlining activity, and a Q&A with the author about the process of writing a mystery novel and securing a publisher.

A Spell Created,” with Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21. Jami Frazier Tracy, curator of the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum, will give a talk on A Spell Created, the museum’s new coffee-table book celebrating Wichita’s 150th birthday.

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies: 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25. Enjoy a free screening of “Message in a Bottle” (PG-13), starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright.

Fourth Tuesday Photography: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 28. Jim Griggs will give a talk on converting color photos to black and white using Adobe Lightroom. He will also demo a couple of other new Lightroom features.

All-Ages Arts and Crafts: 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 29 and July 27. Caregivers, children, teens and people of all ages are invited to enjoy crafting together. You’ll find something fun to do regardless of your age or skill level.

Adult Craft Time: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 16. Join local artist Susan Bartel to paint a watercolor seahorse. This activity is free, with supplies provided; maximum 20 participants. To reserve your spot, email, call 316-283-2890, or ask at the library.

Inside Wikipedia: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19. Paul A. Thomas—a seasoned Wikipedia contributor who has accrued almost 60,000 edits since he started editing in 2007—will break down the history of the online encyclopedia and explains the process of becoming an editor.

Fourth Tuesday Photography: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 26. Join Fourth Tuesday for an artist’s talk with Tasha Jo Wentling. Wentling is a freelance graphic designer and photographer based in Wichita. For more info, go to

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies: 2 p.m. Saturday, July 30. Enjoy a free screening of “Ghosts of the Abyss,” the 2003 documentary about the wreck of the Titanic, directed by James Cameron.

Saturday Afternoon Movie & Adult Summer Reading Finale: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Watch “The Pirates of Penzance,” the 1983 movie-musical starring Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury and Linda Ronstadt, and celebrate the conclusion of the 2022 Adult Summer Reading Program.