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Library summer reading program in full swing


Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

Participating readers take a test on a book they've read and earn points for their comprehension. Each point allows them to place a ticket in one of the prize jars that are lined up in the library.

More than 100 Petersburg youngsters are spending part of their summer break reading books and competing for prizes in the Petersburg Public Library summer reading program.

Kids can read a book and then head to the library to test their comprehension of the themes, characters and plot of the story. Each book is worth a certain amount of points, and the kids receive tickets for each point they earn. The tickets are then used to enter in random drawings for prizes. There are more than 60 prizes available to choose from including a Kindle Fire, a bike, and a basketball goal.

"A lot of them are putting all their tickets into one thing," said program coordinator Jessica Ieremia. "Some of them have looked around to figure out what might be prizes other kids might not want. They've got a whole strategy."

Petersburg youth from first through eighth grade are eligible for the program. Kids can receive up to 100 points but need to earn ten to be eligible for the drawing and admittance to the July 29 pool party where they will also find out which prizes they won.

Ieremia said the program provides kids an incentive to read during summer when time spent between the pages of books tends to dwindle.

"Normally kids drop off during the summer and it's because they're not around books," Ieremia said. "We wanted to find a way to encourage them to come into the library and be able to get reading material."

She added that summer reading also helps them retain skills for when the school year beings in the fall.

Petersburg community members donated all 62 prizes for the challenge.

"Every one of these gifts were donated by community members," Ieremia said. "We could not have done this on our own, without the help of the community."

The challenge ends July 19.

Adults can also get in on library summer programs during the library's Petersburg rainforest version of The Amazing Race.

Each week individuals or teams can pick up a list of clues and activities from the library that will encourage participants to explore and learn about the area.

"They have to go around and learn about all these different things within our community," Ieremia said. "It can be people, places, nature. They'll learn through play."

At the end of the event, those who completed each challenge will be eligible for prizes including a Nordic Air Baranof Warm Springs Trip, a Rainforest Festival Marine Mammal Excursion and gift certificates for iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


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