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Get lost in a few good books this summer

Generations of kids have done it. A few days after school lets out, they go down to their local library and sign up for the summer reading program.

Arms loaded with books that they actually want to read, many kids will find entertainment in their favorite books over the next few months. Robert Trail librarian Kathy Kleckner said it's a rite of passage and a great way for kids to spend their summer.

The Dakota County Library system will kick-off their summer reading programs June 8. Youth, from newborns to those entering their senior year of high school, can sign up for the Bookawocky Summer Reading Experience.

The summer reading program is available at all Dakota County Library branches.

"It's a chance for kids to read what they want and as much as they want," said Kleckner.

Kleckner said they want kids to enjoy summer reading and do a lot of it. Unlike during the school year, kids are in charge. She said the library carries a wide selection including comic books, magazines and books of different genres to entice all readers.

Kids, grades 6 and younger, will receive a game card of 12 activities. Kids can earn a free book by completing at least 10 of the activities. Additionally, for every book they read between the start of the program and Aug. 17, kids can write or draw book reviews for the chance to win prizes. This year's top prize is a family membership to the zoo or an area museum.

This year's program will include an art contest. Entries should be no larger than 11 x 17 inches and able to hang on a wall or bulletin board. Drop off entries at any library location from June 17 to July 20. Awards will be given to first-, second- and third place winners.

Teens who sign up for the reading program will receive a free ticket to the teen takeover event June 20 at Cascade Bay Waterpark in Eagan. Participating teens will also be eligible to win books, gift cards and an iPod Touch by submitting book reviews.

The Robert Trail Library will host a party for the summer reading program from 1 to 3 p.m. June 10. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Trail Library and will include ice cream, games, a scavenger hunt and more.

"It will be a party," said Kleckner.

In addition to the summer reading program, the Robert Trail Library as well as others in the Dakota County Library system will host a number of special events including concerts, storytimes, workshops and more. Kleckner encouraged people to take advantage of the events.


Teens in Rosemount also have an opportunity to volunteer through the summer reading program. Librarian Linda Armstrong said teens 12 to 18, can gain valuable experience by giving their time to the Volunteen program. Duties of the program include registering younger kids for the summer reading program and explaining the program to adults and kids alike.

Applications are available at the Robert Trail Library. A training session will be held June 8. For more information about the Volunteen program contact Linda Armstrong at 651-480-1210.

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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