Henry County’s vacation reading program will kick off on June 3, with the Dig Into Reading theme for children elementary-school aged and younger and Beneath the Surface for teens in middle and high school.
Each child, irrespective of age, is encouraged, said Henry County Public Library system director Carolyn Fuller, to attend the various programs and activities and keep track of the books they are reading and how long they read them.
For those who fastidiously do, a surprise is in store.
“For children in [elementary school or younger], if they read 10 books or complete 20 hours of reading, they receive a free book,” Fuller said. “For teens, they must read five books or complete 20 hours or reading to receive a free book.”
She said for the younger children, each book read to them by their parents will count toward the total.
“Literacy depends just as much on hearing the spoken word as seeing it,” Fuller said. “That is the basis for when they see the printed word and being able to know what the sound was.”
She said more than 6,000 children and teens participated in the vacation reading program last year.
This year, the library system will introduce a new partnership to further encourage more children to read during the summer months.
“We are partnering with Henry County Parks and Recreation,” Fuller said. “A couple of librarians will visit each day camp that the parks and recreation department is offering once a week. They will read a story and leave books and activity sheets for the children.”
Summer reading, overall, is crucial, according to Fuller, because of it encourages students to continue keeping their brains engaged while they are not in school.
Kathy White, a children’s service specialist at the Cochran branch in Stockbridge, said for her personally, with her own children, the county’s vacation reading program was crucial.
“When my children were younger, if they didn’t participate with the vacation reading program, when the school year started, it was hard for them and they were sluggish,” she said. “School started off a whole lot better when they did participate.”
Specific activities for the program have not yet been released, but Fuller said residents should continue to check the website for updates.
On the web: www.henry.public.lib.ga.us