FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (May 19, 2016) -- Long summer days filled with pool parties, cookouts and outdoor fun are on the horizon as temperatures begin to rise and children are eager for school to let out for summer vacation.

For parents looking for exciting ways to incorporate summer fun and reading, the staff at Robert F. Sink Memorial Library have developed the Summer Reading Program. The free program lasts seven weeks, with enrollment beginning June 1 and the finale scheduled for July 14 at Joe Swing Recreational Facility.

Librarians will kick off the Summer Reading Program from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. June 1 with a special program, including a storytime and a craft for participants.

Jackie Downs, reference librarian, said this year "Read for the Win," is the theme.

"This theme has a heavy emphasis on sports and all kinds of games that will challenge people, whether it be mentally or physically," she said.

In addition to the library's regular programming this summer, they also will have "Magic Treehouse Story Time" and Zumba classes. Readers are encouraged to enroll in the program June 1, but are able to join anytime during the seven weeks. Downs said this year there are some changes to the registration process.

"Participants will register online and keep track of all their progress that way," she said. "Library staff would be delighted to provide any needed assistance to make this process as easy for patrons as possible."

To register for the Summer Reading Program visit https://usarmy.evanced.info/rfsink/sr/homepage.asp?ProgramID=24. The online platform is an easy way for readers to record how many hours they have read. For every 60 minutes spent reading, the patron will receive a prize.

"After someone has read eight hours they will get a prize, but for subsequent hours read they will be entered into a drawing for a larger prize," Downs said.

Prize distribution will begin June 7. Prizes will be given out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the program.

Downs said although the program is open to readers of all ages and interests, the prizes and activities are targeted toward readers 18 years old and younger.

"I can't give anything away just yet," she said. "But a lot of our prizes this year will encourage patrons to take advantage of the warm, summer weather and enjoy time outside."

Last year, participants in the Summer Reading Program logged about 124,778 minutes or 2,079 hours spent reading, Downs said.

Summer reading programs hosted by libraries across the United States annually, are beneficial to students to help stall the "summer slide," according to the 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey National Report. The "summer slide" refers to the slump in student's reading development and achievement during the holiday between school terms.

Downs said it is important for students to continue actively improving their reading during the summer to increase brain development.

"It's important to continue reading, because the skills that a child learns throughout the school year may diminish throughout the summer when there isn't as much of an emphasis on taking time to read," she said. "Participating in out Summer Reading Program is beneficial to readers of all ages so that they can continue to develop and increase their reading potential and progress to the next reading level, possibly at a quicker rate."


Program schedule

•June 1, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. -- Summer Reading Kickoff Celebration

•June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 2 p.m. -- Magic Tree House Story Time

•June 2, 16 and 30 -- Zumba(R) at the Library

•June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1 and 8 at 10 a.m. -- Baby & Me Lapsit

•June 4, 11, 18, 25 and July 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

•June 8 and 22 at 1 p.m. -- Meet the Music Presentation

•June 9, 23 and July 7 -- Yoga at the Library

-- Story & Craft Time

•June 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 1 p.m. -- Six String Saturday

•July 9 at 11 a.m. -- Grand Finale