Library unveils summer theme

July 05, 1992|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,Staff Writer

What will be Encyclopedia Brown's next mystery? What is the Baby-sitter's Club?

What kind of trouble is Curious George getting into now? And is the Cat in the Hat coming to visit again?

Ask one of the children participating in the reading game at Howard County Central Library and they'll most likely be able to tell you. If not, they'll probably be able to tell you about eight other books they have read since June 14, when the game started.

"Books . . . Yes!" the new theme for the summer's reading game, which requires children to read at least eight books or listen to 24 stories, has attracted about 1,200 said library associates. About 800 more children are expected to join.

"The theme celebrates the cultural diversity of our residents, and we hope that children will discover books by foreign authors and about people living in other cultures," said Georgianna Price, senior library associate for children's services at Central.

Students who finish the required eight books receive a certificate of achievement letter for their school, a small prize and a coupon for free Crazy Bread from Little Caesar's Pizza. All books must be read by the end of August. So far, 12 children have finished their reading lists.

Seven-year-old Joey Karvey, who was on his fourth book, said he doesn't know why he likes reading, he just knows he likes it. But the game and prizes are fun too, he added.

Kimberly Hair, 9, didn't really care about the prize, she just liked having something to do over the summer.

"I like to read a lot and my parents thought it would be something good for me to do," Kimberly said. "I like [the game] because it's something to do for the summer rather than watching TV or playing outside. It's educational."

The library created the game with that thought in mind that by encouraging children to join in a game, they would learn to love reading, said Ms. Price.

"There were some mothers who had to drag their kids in to sign up, but then there were kids like one little boy that told me, 'You know I don't like to read, but some of the stories I read were really good,' " Ms. Price added. "The kids end up loving it."

Central and other Howard County Libraries have been offering a reading game every summer since the library opened years ago, said library associate Melanie Rodriguez. Librarians travel to area schools during the year and promote various summer programs offered at the library -- like the reading game -- to school children.

"It gives a nice incentive and positive reinforcement for the reluctant reader to pick up a book," said Ms. Rodriguez. "We encourage infants and toddlers to join too because it is very important to read to the young ones."

The youngest to ever join the game was a 5-month-old baby, Ms. Rodriguez said.

"The kids and parents get a tremendous kick out of it and they're always excited no matter what the prizes are," she added. "It's fun and they have a great time."

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