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“On Your Mark, Get Set…Read” is the theme of Harford County Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge for children and incorporates physical fitness with reading.
In 2015, nearly 17,000 children participated in the Summer Reading Challenge, and they read more than 109,000 books.
The program runs from June 20-August 20 and is geared for children from birth to high school to encourage continued learning that inspires a lifetime love of reading. Studies show that children who participate in public library summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the new school year, experience less summer reading loss and begin the school year with more confidence.
Children may sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge starting Monday, June 20, at any of the 11 Harford County Public Library branches or online at hcplonline.org. Preschool-age participants will receive a reusable tote bag with incentives from sponsors. Elementary- and high-school-aged participants will receive a reusable drawstring sports pack along with incentives from sponsors.
Program completion is based on the ages of those who register. Read to Me, Please!, for those from birth to pre-K, will read or listen to 25 books. Elementary-level students (entering grades K-5) should read 10 books. Middle- and high-school students (entering grades 6-12) are asked to read three books.
All children who complete the program will receive a ticket voucher to an Aberdeen IronBirds game. In addition, children ages birth through middle school will receive an age-appropriate book selected by Harford County Public Library librarians. High school students who complete the program will receive a $10 gift card from Wegmans.
“Physical activity makes the body strong, and reading does the same for the mind. Together, they make the perfect combination for our Summer Reading Challenge,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “’On Your Mark, Get Set…Read’ encourages students to exercise their minds and their bodies. The Summer Reading Challenge helps students retain and grow their reading skills over the summer, so they are ready when the new school year begins.”
Kick-off activities for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge take place on Monday, June 20, at the Abingdon Library from 10 a.m. to noon and at the Havre de Grace Library from 2 to 5 p.m.
Events at the Abingdon Library include an interactive presentation by the Hoppin’ Hawks, a precision jump rope team that combines skill development with choreography. Activities at the Havre de Grace Library include a performance by magician Mike Rose and the opportunity to explore the newly reopened Havre de Grace Library. Sponsors of the Summer Reading Challenge will be on hand at both locations to offer incentives.
The Summer Reading Challenge is funded through sponsor contributions, donations from Library Friends’ groups and by funds raised by the Harford County Public Library Foundation.
Sponsors of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge are Aberdeen IronBirds, Advanced Eye Care, APG Federal Credit Union, Bel Air Friends of HCPL, Berardino Family Trust, Darlington Friends of HCPL, Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, HAR-CO Credit Union, Harford Day School, Huether-McClelland Foundation, Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan Association, Ripken Baseball, Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association, Rotary Club of Aberdeen, The Aegis and Wegmans.
“We are so grateful for the community’s support of ‘On Your Mark, Get Set…Read,’” said Mark DiBerardino, president of the Harford County Public Library Foundation. “Our goal is to provide every child who participates in the Summer Reading Challenge with quality books that inspire their continued reading and learning. This program will also teach children to find a balance between physical activities and reading for relaxation.”
More information may be found at hcplonline.org or by picking up a copy of the Headlines & Happenings newsletter at any of the library’s branches.
Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches located throughout Harford County. The library serves more than 181,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of more than 3.8 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading in the community.
The Harford County Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to raise funds to augment the financial resources of the Harford County Public Library and to promote awareness of its services.
For more information, visit hcplonline.org.