Summer Reading Program kicks off in Port Orchard, Manchester

More than 275 children in Port Orchard and Manchester signed up last Saturday to participate in the Kitsap Regional Library’s 2013 Summer Reading Program.

Both branches held a “kickoff party” on June 1 which featured games, live music and ice cream.

The Summer Reading program runs until Aug. 30.

Kathleen Wilson, Port Orchard branch manager, said more than 200 children signed up for the program during a two-hour session at Port Orchard Marina Park.

“We had a great time at the park,” she said. “The children had a fun playing games and dancing.”

The Manchester Library reported about 75 children signed up on Saturday.

The program is a major early literacy initiative which devotes thousands of hours and dollars to the program.

Manager of Youth Services Shannon Peterson said children who read only 10 hours during the summer break retain or improve their reading proficiency from grade to grade.

“Vacation reading programs are essential for students to avoid the ‘summer slide,’” Peterson said. “Research shows that access to books and learning opportunities has a huge impact in helping children retain grade level comprehension.

She said summer is the when the most reluctant readers can pursue any passion or curiosity, be it medieval catapults, hamster care, or what kind of mischief Calvin and Hobbes are up to.

“Our librarians are specially trained to help you find not just any book, but the right book for you, Peterson said. “With a slate of incredible programs to boot, you'll have a blast, too!”

Children and teens can register for the Summer Reading Program at one of KRL’s nine branches or online at our digital branch, Participants who read at least 10 hours during the summer and submit their reading tracker to the library can receive a free book and a ticket to the 2013 Kitsap Fair and Stampede. Participants who read 100 hours or more during the program get a special 100-hour reader T-shirt.

The program is supported by the Kitsap County Fair and Stampede, which has made 4,000 tickets — valued at $28,000 — available as incentive prizes to encourage children and teens to complete the program.

The libraries also receives financial support for the program from the KRL Foundation, which purchases from donations the books that are used as finishing incentives, and from the branch Friends of the Library organizations, which help cover the cost of special programs at each of the branch libraries.


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