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Summer reading program kicks off

Abby Anderson and Bell Myron volunteered to sign kids up for the library's summer reading program Monday. More than 200 kids signed up to read their summer away Monday.

Abby Anderson liked doing the library's summer reading program because it made reading matter. The 16-year-old would have read anyway - it's her favorite hobby - but the program rewarded her for it.

Now as a volunteer with the program she's trying to encourage younger kids to get signed up to reap their own rewards. The Robert Trail Library Summer Reading Program kicked off Monday and with it comes the chance for kids to win some prizes while keeping their minds sharp.

"It's the best thing to prepare for the next school year and it's fun to do," said librarian Kathy Kleckner.

This year's program theme is "Make a Splash." Kids will get a prize for signing up and then will receive additional prizes after they've reached set numbers of hours. Kids can turn in their sheets for prizes at five, 10 and 20 hours of reading. The children who sign up will get their names put in a drawing for bigger prizes including tickets to the Minnesota State Fair.

The summer reading program is popular. Kleckner said more than 200 children signed up Monday and she anticipates many more over the coming days. Last year 1,500 children participated.

Kids can read themselves, have a parent read to them or even listen to an audio book. The program is open to kids through fifth grade.

"It's a really good program and you get some cool stuff," said Anderson.

Teen program

For kids older than fifth grade the library also has a teen summer reading program. While the turn out isn't as good as it is for the little kids, it's just as important for teens to read through the summer.

"It doesn't get the attention that the little kids do but it's just as important to keep at," said librarian Evan Kelley about reading in the summer.

Because it's harder to get teens through the door Kelley said the library tries to entice them with a full line up of cool prizes. This year teens will receive a pair of tickets to Cascade Bay Water Park on June 24 just for signing up.

There are no reading requirements. The program is about motivating teens to read and visit the library. Every week teens can enter a short book review and win books, gift certificates and other prizes.

"The more books they read the more prize chances they'll have," said Kelley.

The library will host a number of events in conjunction with the program to get teen into the library, including classes about Henna body art, drawing anime and making treasure boxes.

Teens who participate in the summer reading program will be eligible to attend the end of summer party at the Galaxie Library in Apple Valley. The party will include live music, free food and lots of fun.

As of Monday only 10 teens had signed up. Kelley said last summer 100 teens signed up, and he hopes to beat that number this year.

Bell Myron has signed up for the program. The 16-year-old loves to read so getting some perks for it is just icing on the cake. Myron, a teen volunteer, encouraged other teens to sign up.

"It's a great way to spend the summer," said Myron.

For more information on the Robert Trail Library summer reading program call 651-480-1200 or drop by the library.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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