On your mark, get set, READ

Children participating in last year’s Summer Reading Events

The Portsmouth Public Library has begun preparation for their Summer Reading Program

It’s that time of year again — summer.

School may be out, but it’s no time to give up on reading, especially when there are prizes involved.

The Portsmouth Public Library hopes to combat the summer slack-off problem as they kick off their annual Summer Reading Program beginning on June 6.

This year’s Summer Reading Theme is “On your mark, get set, READ,” encouraging children to keep their minds and bodies active this summer.

Last year, over 800 children signed up for the Summer Reading Program.

“You can stop by any one of our branches and pick up the Summer Reading Packet,” explained Portsmouth Library’s Program Manager, Katie Williams. “Kids 12 and under will receive a calendar of events and their summer reading packets. The goal of Summer Reading, is to try and have them read ten books throughout the summer. Every time they read a book, they’ll color in a coloring square.”

After coloring all ten squares, the packet can be returned to the branch. Those who participate will receive a free paperback book, backpack, a Camden Park ticket, and coupons for fun attractions like the Renaissance Festival and the Ohio State Fair.

“They will also be entered into our grand prize drawing for Kings Island Tickets, COSI tickets, and we’re going to be giving away an IPAD Mini,” said Williams.

There will also be a Summer Reading Program for those ages 13 to 18 as well. Each branch will be raffling off a one-month membership to Southern Ohio Medical Center’s LIFE Center for the teens.

Each branch will host a variety activities related to the Summer Reading program. There will be crafts, movies, games and more.

“We’re doing programs like ‘Exercise Your Body, Exercise Your Mind,” where the kids will solve puzzles and brain-teasers, we’ll be taking plastic bags and recycling them and turning them into jumpropes, there are so many things going on,” said Williams. “The kids can be busy all summer long. We’re trying to bridge that gap between school years, helping them to stay interested in reading while also enjoying the activities.”

The Summer Reading Program isn’t just for children, there are programs for adults and family events all summer as well.

“This is my first summer working with the Summer Reading Program, growing up I always participated in it,” said Williams. “I am really excited to be on the other side of things, I know how much this program impacted my life growing up and I can’t wait to give back and help the kids. I’m really looking forward to it, there’s all sorts of fun stuff.”

Visitors can visit the Portsmouth, New Boston, Wheelersburg, South Webster, or the Lucasville branch to participate. The deadline for picking up the packet is July 16.

“July 18 through the 23 is the last week and each branch will host a party, there will be games and light refreshments to celebrate the end Summer Reading program, but we’ll continue activities and programs all year,” said Williams.

And the best part? — It’s free, all that’s required is a library card. For more information, contact the Portsmouth Public Library at 740-354-5688.

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley – Daily Times” or Twitter @PDT_Ciara