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Ready, Set, READ!

  • Written by Deborah Stone
With the end of school in sight, King County libraries are getting pumped up for their summer reading program.

The theme this year is “Dream Big. READ!” and kids of all ages are encouraged to participate

Those in elementary school, ages 5 to 12, can keep track of the minutes they read on a special reading log.

After completing 500 minutes, they will be able to visit their local library to collect a “halfway” prize of glow-in-the-dark mini stars. Once they’ve read 1,000 minutes, they will receive their “finisher” prize, a pair of LED flashing glasses.

Participants who claim their finisher prize by August 31 can enter their name for a chance to win the grand prize, a new netbook.

Even young tots can take part in the program with help from their parents.

Instructions are to color a shape for each literacy-related activity done with your child such as visiting a library, attending a summer reading program, singing a song, sharing a nursery rhyme or story, naming new objects seen while walking or shopping, making letter shapes together and more.

And yes, there are prizes, too, at both the halfway mark and finish line.

As an extra incentive, children who pick up their final prize by August 31 will be eligible to enter their name in a drawing to win a one-year family membership to KidsQuest Museum or a Family Fun Pack to the Woodland Park Zoo.

For teens, the “Read 3, Get One Free” year-round program will continue into the summer.

The rules are simple: Read three books, write three thoughtful reviews and get a prize book free.

At the end of the summer, participants will have the chance to enter to win a laptop and other great prizes.

“KCLS also has a video book review contest for teens this summer,” adds Pam Hunter, Woodinville Library librarian. “What they’ll need to do is to read a book and then make a short movie  — no longer than three minutes — about the book. They can do a video book review or a video trailer, for example, and then post it on YouTube to enter it in the contest. At the end of the summer, we’ll announce the winners at a special red carpet event.

The top two will get $100 gift cards to Best Buy.”

Hunter notes that this is a program available to those in middle school, junior high and high school.

To complement KCLS’s summer reading program, local libraries will offer a variety of special events throughout the summer months.

At Woodinville Library, for example, there will be a ventriloquist show, several science workshops, storytelling, live music, magic demonstrations and a theatrical presentation.

“Summer is a time when kids can lose ground academically if they don’t read or if they’re not involved in literacy-based activities,” comments Hunter. “The summer reading program allows them the opportunity to keep up their skills and even improve upon them.”

She adds, “The prizes provide nice incentives, but they also are beneficial because they help establish reading goals. What’s also nice about the program is that it lets kids discover books and authors they enjoy.”

For more information about the KCLS summer reading program: www.kcls.org/srp

For information or to register for summer events at Woodinville Library: (425) 788-0733.

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