Tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Spencer library kicks off their Summer Reading program. In the past, this program has been available for school-age children and for teens. This year they opened it up to everyone else.
For the first time, infants and toddlers can participate in the "Little Stars" reading program. Parents can take their young children into the library for activities that stimulate their early literacy skills. When they complete six activities, they get a board book to take home. At 12 activities completed, they get a plush star.
The theme for this year's school-age children is "Dream Big." Like previous years, they count their minutes of reading. At four hours of reading, they get a free book. After 10 hours, they get a light-up toy, and after 20 total hours of reading, they are invited to an end-of-summer party.
The teens this year can take part in "Own the Night." Like the school-age kids, they count their minutes, but with different prizes. Four hours will earn them a free book, 10 hours will earn them an "Own the Night" tote bag, and 20 total hours will enter them into a prize-bundle drawing. The grand prize for the drawing is an iPod touch, and other prizes include a digital and a kindle. Those who complete 20 total hours will also be invited to an end-of-summer lock-in at the library.
Also for the first time this year, adults can participate in "Between the Covers." For every book read, they can enter into a weekly prize bundle. The grand prize for these drawings is a Kindle Fire. Those who read four books or more during the summer will also be invited to a wine-tasting at the end of the summer, hosted by Arts on Grand.
The Summer Reading Program has been available for decades, and it's proven to be successful. Two years ago the library had 250 kids sign up, last year they had 500. This year, especially with the addition of the adult and early literacy program, they hope to have 750 participants.
In addition to the prize drawings, the library is hosting activities throughout the summer. Stacy Young, a Clay County Naturalist, will come to talk to the younger students. Every other week, those in the "tween" age can come for the "Tween Scary Story Club" and read scary stories. On the alternate weeks, the teenage students will meet. Later in the summer, the library will team up with the Spencer Community Theatre for a "Zombie Boot Camp."
Registration for the Summer Reading program is May 31 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.