County libraries kick off summer reading program May 26 - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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County libraries kick off summer reading program May 26

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Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 4:30 pm

Cultural experiences and fun adventures are limitless for children and teens who participate in Maricopa County Library District’s Summer Reading Program, beginning May 26.

Programs and activities for three distinct age groups will be hosted at 17 district libraries and 12 affiliate libraries.  Programs are geared toward pre-readers, ages 0-5; children, ages 6-11; and teens, ages 12 to 18.  To sign up, visit

Library cards are not required for those who wish to participate.  Online registration is needed to take part in the program.

Each library has scheduled its own list of events.  A sampling of activities includes:  puppet theater, African drum and dance performances, origami for kids, animal encounters, old world European folk songs and stories, Japanese drumming performances, balloon blowing coupled with story time, and musical shows for kids, just to name a few.

SRP participants are encouraged and rewarded for reading during the nine-week program, which ends July 30.  Pre-readers, children and teens who complete any or each level of the four-level program win prizes for their age group.  Those who complete the fourth level can earn their own free book.

“We feel extremely fortunate that several local cultural organizations and Valley businesses have stepped up to support summer reading by providing remarkable incentives,” said Cindy Kolaczynski, MCLD deputy director.

 The Arizona SeaLife Aquarium is providing two-for-one admission tickets as prizes to program participants. Del Taco is offering free food items for first-level finishers. The Musical Instrument Museum is giving away several hundred free admission tickets to children and teens as incentives.

Marriott Courtyard Scottsdale and Marriott Springhill Suites Scottsdale are providing 39 two-day stay-cations. Winners will be drawn from participants who complete the fourth level of the program. Finally, the Phoenix Mercury is providing two-for-one game vouchers as incentives for those who complete the fourth level.

“We want kids and teens to be connected to reading and fun events at our libraries, especially during the summer,” Kolaczynski noted.  “Studies show that students who consistently read when school is out usually are ahead after summer vacation.  More importantly, our libraries get kids excited about reading for a lifetime.”

To register or for information about MCLD’s Summer Reading Program, visit

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