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'Treasure Your Library' program still accepting summer readers

The children's summer reading program for the Salt Lake City Library System began with a party over the weekend, but there's still plenty of time to sign up, officials say.

Children may register for the program, which has as a theme, "Treasure Your Library," at any city library location through Saturday, Aug. 14.The fun continues through the summer with a variety of programs, including Mad Science, a ventriloquist, puppet shows, a chess tournament and Dear America book discussions.

Library officials say studies over several decades show that summer reading drop-off has predictable, negative consequences for student achievement.

Children who fail to continue reading often regress in literacy skills. Aggressive summer reading programs can help students to maintain their reading ability, catch up to grade level or even get ahead, officials point out.

"The library system recognizes the importance of summer reading programs to literacy as well as the joy of children reading for fun," said library director Nancy Tessman.

Every child who participates will receive a book bag, reading record, a bookmark and a game board to mark reading time. Children may also earn a prize for every five hours spent reading.

Young adults can join their own annual summer reading program, "Stiff, Expired, Checked-Out at the Library," which begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12. It will feature a "Who Dunnit" mystery event in the Main Library auditorium.

Teens may sign up at the event or afterward at any city library location through Aug. 14. Young adults who participate can earn a prize and clues to a murder mystery for every 10 hours they spend reading.

Those who complete the program earn a chance to guess the murderer's identity and have their names entered in a gift certificate drawing. The teen activities will continue with a variety of programs, including poetry slams, a cartooning workshop, a play-writing workshop and a chess tournament.

City library system programs for younger children continue throughout the summer. Book Baby (for babies under age 2 and their caregivers), Storytime and Jammie Time programs are held at several city library branches. Due to their popularity, registration may be required. Call the Main library, 524-8200, for locations and times or for more information about other summer reading programs.