PHOENIX — School is over or almost over for the summer, and that means kids have a lot of free time on their hands.
So, the Maricopa County Library District is encouraging youngsters to read with its summer reading program, Maricopa County Reads. The program starts June 1 and runs through August 1.
Here’s how it works: the children register online and log their reading and library time throughout the summer. When they reach certain point levels, they earn badges and prizes.
Rebecca Atkin is a parent who said reading is a gateway to education.
“It’s the basis for everything. I feel like if you can get a kid reading, they have that foundation for all the rest of the learning,” Atkin said.
The program encourages reading at least 20 minutes a day.
“It’s just entertaining, and it sends your mind places that you might not be able to go otherwise,” said Nicki Holt, a parent who applauds the summer reading program and the value of reading.
Last year, 77,000 people participated, and the library district said it hopes to “smash” that number this summer. Maricopa County Library District’s 17 branches, along with 45 other libraries, are participating in the program.
The 20 minute per day reading goal has encouraged this motto from the youngsters, “Read 20 AZ!”
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