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The annual Summer Reading Program is once again under way at the St. Marys Public Library. Registration for the program began on June 1 and will continue throughout the remainder of the month.
Vicki Miller, head of Children's Services, explained that the purpose of the month-long registration is to try to make things easier on parents or other individuals who have to provide transportation to and from the library for the area youth taking part in the program, which is open to individuals age 18 and under.
"You can read on your own, or if you attend programs [at the library], you can also recored those books in your journal of things that you listened to or read during the summer," Miller said. "Once they're recorded, if you have at least 10 books or 500 pages read, then you get to pick out one free item from the Scholastic Book Fair in August."
Miller noted that, on average, around 700 area youth sign up each year for the program and about 500 of them complete the requirements and receive an award at the end of the summer.
In conjunction with the Summer Reading Program, the library is also holding an additional program with the theme "One World, Many Stories," which will provide readers with a chance to win an extra prize basket at the end of the summer.
"They get a chance to win that, and they can also earn continent stickers for their [reading passports] if they read a book within that continent and find the capital and the population of the continent. We have books [in the library] on reference and the staff is willing to help the kids research the stuff," Miller said.
She explained that once a reader finishes a story and answers questions related to the country where the story takes place, they will be able to received their continent sticker. The purpose of the program is to help area youth become familiar with some of the basic aspects of other countries, such as which languages are spoken there and what the geography is like.
Miller added that participants can read whatever they would like related to other countries.