FORT JACKSON, S.C. (July 3, 2014) -- More than 200 children are spending their vacation reading books and competing for prizes in Thomas Lee Hall Library's "Paws to Read" summer program.

So far, 261 children have registered for the program, reading for more than 34,000 minutes since the program began June 16, said Kirsten Gripp, programming librarian. Paws to Read is named for the program's canine mascot, "Rocket."

In addition, 74 adults are participating in the program this summer, she said, as well as 42 teen readers. Readers as young as 11 were allowed to move up to the teen reading level if they were interested, Gripp said.

"They're very excited about it," she said. "I've already had some people earn all their prizes. We want them to keep logging, so they can be eligible for the weekly drawings that we have prizes for."

People participating in the program log their hours online, which allows the library to keep track of how readers are engaged throughout the summer.

"We really like the online feature," Gripp said. "People can register at any point during the day. They don't actually have to come to the library. And they can log their minutes, and it notifies them when they've won their prizes."

Children must read 800 minutes to earn five prizes through the weeks of the program. Teens and adults must read 1,290 to earn three prizes.

Weekly drawings are held for participants who remember to log their weekly hours. A grand prize drawing is scheduled for children who read 1,000 minutes or more, and for teens and adults who read 1,600 minutes or more.

The grand prizes in the children's category are two large "Rocket" stuffed animals, while gift cards for the Exchange will be awarded to winners in the teen and adult categories.

The program ends July 25. To be eligible for contest prizes, readers need to log their hours by July 24. The grand prize drawing takes place July 25 during a party at the library.