The St. Johns County Public Library System is thrilled to announce a new reading initiative for students in kindergarten through 12th grade: The Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) and Florida Teens Read (FTR) Challenge. Readers who complete 15 books for their grade level will earn a certificate which will qualify them for a free book from their local library branch!

Beginning Tuesday, December 15, 2020, students will be able to log titles they read through the library’s READsquared online program. The SSYRA and FTR lists feature books especially selected by librarians and media specialists to entice students to read independently for enjoyment and to improve their reading fluency.

These reading challenges can be accessed online through READsquared or with a paper form available at your local library branch.

Youth Services Librarian Nicole Jebbia explains, “with all of the changes this year, we have had a number of requests asking the library to provide a new way for students, traditional and homeschool, to participate in the SSYRA & FTR programs. As many schools are also taking on new challenges, we realized we could help them in this area and came up with using our READsquared app to create the SSYR and FTR Challenge for students K-12, in school, or learning from home.”

The READsquared program is sponsored by the library system’s Friends of the Library groups. For more information about this program, the Friends of the Library, or other services of the St. Johns County Public Library System, please visit