Reading and exercise will be key parts of a summer reading program for adults and children at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.
The library is joining with the Akron Marathon, Summit County Public Health, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, in the Mind, Body & Sole program, which gets under way today.
Registration opens today at all library branches in Summit County. Participants will get a summer reading program bag, a pedometer and a score-card reading log.
Participants must read or listen to 26 books, e-books or articles and run/walk 26 miles or 52,000 pedometer steps through Sept. 10.
A marathon is just over 26 miles, and that’s why that number was chosen, library spokeswoman Carla Davis said.
Participants are encouraged to exercise at their own pace.
They must fill in score cards to track the number of items read and the miles/steps taken. The completed score cards will be turned in at the library to be stickered.
Those who complete the reading-exercise program will get a T-shirt and a backpack tag. They will be entered in drawings for prizes at the Akron Marathon fitness expo Sept. 28.
“The goal of this program is to simultaneously encourage both reading and exercise,” said library Director David Jennings, who has run in Akron Marathon relays in the past four years.
“Reading and exercise are keys to leading a vibrant life, individually and collectively as a community. We are trying to promote both through Mind, Body & Sole.”
The approach is admittedly different from other library-sponsored summer reading programs that typically have drawn about 10,000 participants, Jennings said, and therefore, estimating how many adults and youth might participate is difficult.
Participants are encouraged to walk and run on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which is now complete through Summit County, covering 41.1 miles.
People are also encouraged to hike the trails in the Cuyahoga Valley and Summit metro parks, although they can exercise anywhere, he said.
For information, call 330-643-9000 or visit www. akronlibrary.org/mbs.html.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.