Library kicks off summer reading program

Free toys and books aside, the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries' summer reading program is all about getting people to read.

Branch Manager Sherry Samp--son has been helping with the program for the 13 years she has worked for the library. Now she is in charge of organizing the program.

"We are trying to help kids continue reading for the summer," Sampson said. "After they get out of school, it's easy to not read any more."

All forms of literature can be read for the program; magazines and newspapers count the same as books. "For non-readers, it lets them know that magazines count," Sampson said. "It gets them reading."

The program offers incentives for each reading group.

Children can log their reading by the amount of time they read or the amount of books they finish. With each eight books or four hours they read, children reach levels that offer different prizes.

The prizes offered for children include free books, toys and coupons for free food at local restaurants.

Teenagers who enroll in the program log their reading by the hour. Eight hours are required for each reading level.

Sampson said this is the first year the program has had a separate "teenager" level.

"Before, they were lumped in with the children," she said.

The reason for making a separate category for teenagers is to attract teens that don't come to the library.

Prizes for teens also include books and restaurant coupons, as well as CD holders and journals.

The incentives for adults are based on the number of books they read. For each book they complete, adults can enter their names in a drawing for prizes including books, beach towels and coolers.

Eight-year-old Connor Knez has been in the program since he learned to read when he was 3.

Connor has won prizes in past years but said he does it because he likes to read.

Connor's mother, Kathy, is a first-grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School and said she supports the program.

"I encourage all my students to participate," she said.

Claire Earley and her 5-year-old son, Daniel, signed up last week, and they have filled up two weeks worth of reading for Daniel. "He loves to read," Earley said, "and he's excited about getting prizes."

Sampson said the reason she is involved with the program is the satisfaction of getting people to read. The goal for this year is 500 people. Last week, 180 people registered at the early sign-up offered at the library.

"It's a challenge every year to sign up more people," Sampson said.

Readers of all ages are welcome to participate in the summer reading program. Stop by the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries, 570 Green St., between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, or 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, or call 824-5116 for more information.

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