FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Although summer is typically a time children get to forget about school and learning for a while, the Fort Rucker Center Library is keeping learning alive through one of its most popular programs.

The Fort Rucker Summer Reading Program kicked off June 1 with a party that had children playing for prizes during the library's own "The Price is Right" game show, and although families were cheering on each of the contestants, the real prize was keeping children interested in learning throughout the summer, said Cameron Hill, Center Library youth librarian.

"This is a good way to keep the kids reading and engaged throughout the summer when they might lose a little bit of what they've learned, so this will help reinforce what they've learned throughout the year," said Hill.

The theme for this year's program is "Reading Takes You Everywhere," which focuses on the power books have to transport people to not only places across the world, but throughout their imaginations, as well, said the youth librarian.

The program, which is for children ages 4-17, allows children to read books of their choice and log minutes online to reach milestones and earn prizes.

"Last year was the first time we did this entirely online, and the majority of (people) appreciate it because they can go anywhere and log their minutes," said Hill. "People do a lot of traveling over the summer, so instead of having to keep up with a paper log, they can just get on their device or computer, log it in the system and it will add up the minutes automatically and let them know when they've reached a milestone."

For each milestone reached, participants will receive a virtual badge, as well as an email notification to come into the Center Library to claim a prize for that particular milestone.

"(The prizes) just give them a little bit of incentive to keep reading throughout the summer," said the youth librarian, adding that prizes will be age appropriate.

To participate in the program, participants must be authorized patrons of the library and register online at https://ftruckercenterlibrary.beanstack.org. Once registered, parents can begin logging minutes for their children now through July 20.

Another way the library is keeping children interested in reading is by hosting events throughout the summer to go in line with the Summer Reading Program.

The Center Library will host Didgeridoo Down Under June 7 at the School Age Center from 1-2 p.m. where children can witness the Australian-themed show that will combine music, culture, puppetry, comedy, character building, storytelling and audience participation.

Next, the library will host Animate Your Journey June 13 from 2-4 p.m. where participants will get the chance to learn how to create their own stop-motion animation video from an experienced graphics designer.

If magic tricks are more up their alley, parents and children are invited to see Skip Cain, The Magic Guy, June 21 at the library from 4-5 p.m., where he will perform magic and create balloons for the children.

Catapulting Through STEM will be held June 28 from 2-3 p.m. at the library in partnership with the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory where children can learn about the history of catapults and even get to create their own.

The library will also host an all-day movie marathon July 11 where people can come enjoy movies throughout the day with popcorn provided.

To round out the Summer Reading Program events, the library will host the Bath Fizzie Workshop July 19 from 2-3 p.m. where people can learn to create their own bath bombs.

"We just want people to come out and have a good time, and learn a little bit in the process," said Hill.

For more information, call 255-3885.