Chris was part of the library crowd Tuesday during the kickoff celebration for the program and he said he was looking forward to reading more books, namely classic novels, poetry and comics, as he enjoys his summer before starting Model High School.
“I think it helps you because when you go back to school, you have more knowledge,” said Chris.
The children’s department was packed as families waited in lines for registration and children scanned shelves for potential reading material. More than 1,000 young readers signed up on the first day of the program titled “Dream Big, READ!,” according to children’s coordinator Barbara Evans.
Entertainment outlets such as TV and video games are popular during the summer for many kids, but Evans said the reading program helps facilitate in-depth, critical thinking in the absence of regular studies.
“This encourages them to have a book in hand, therefore they’re actually reading, they’re absorbing literature, they’re absorbing words,” said Evans. “We’ve had so many teachers say the kids have improved so incredibly doing this. It’s a major impact.”
The program runs through July 19 and participants from toddler age to 12th grade can register for free anytime during the eight weeks.
As recorded reading hours accumulate, so do the rewards. For two hours, readers are presented with a certificate, Kroger donut and Fun Wheels skating pass. At the top tier of 20 hours, they earn a Rome Cinemas Pop n’ Corn movie pass, Rome Braves ticket with a hot dog and a Fun Wheels skating party.
Workshops for all ages will also take place at the library during the duration of the program for a $5 registration fee, as well as storytime, contests and special presentations. In addition, a children’s 25 cent book sale runs today through Saturday.
For more information contact the Children’s Department at 706-236-4608 or Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.