Many children view summer break as a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also provide them with an opportunity to enhance their reading skills.
Beginning Friday, children can participate in the Vacation Reading Program available at all three libraries in Columbia County.
"What we are encouraging is for kids to read over the summer," said Pam Link, a children's librarian at Columbia County Library. "In the summer, we just want them to read for the fun of it."
The program is designed for children as young as infants and extends to high-school students. One theme, "Catch the Reading Bug," is aimed at elementary-school pupils, while "Metamorphosis" is targeted at middle- and high-school students.
Link said incentives will be offered to children who have either read 50 books or read for 15 hours. Children not yet old enough to read can participate by having 50 books read to them.
Children can keep track of their progress with reading folders that can be picked up at the Columbia County Library, Euchee Creek Library or Harlem Library, she said.
After completing the reading folder, children will receive certificates to use at Sonic, Applebee's or Stevi B's Pizza.
This year, the library also will offer each participating child a free book. More than 3,000 books were purchased by the nonprofit volunteer group, Friends of Columbia County Libraries, Link said.
"It's just a way for us to offer incentives to get them into the library and get them to read," Link said.
Children must complete and turn in their folders to any library branch by July 25 to redeem the rewards.
Each library also will play host to story times and other events throughout the summer, Link said.
For more information about the program or summer events at the library, call the Columbia County Library at (706) 863-1946, the Euchee Creek Library at (706) 556-0594, or the Harlem Library at (706) 556-9795.
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