REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--More than 300 children participated in Redstone’s summer reading program.

“That’s triple the size we normally get,” Barbara Williams, youth education support services director, said.

Certificates and medals were presented during the fifth annual Child Youth and School Services/FMWR Library Summer Reading Program on Thursday night at the Myra M. Garriott School Age Services Center. The top readers in three grade categories received trophies and another prize " an iPod.

“It’s a lot fun,” Williams said of the program, which recognized readers with weekly and program-end incentives.

The library offered incentives for the Redstone youngsters to check out books. “Plus they enjoy reading,” Williams said of the reasons for the program’s popularity.

This year the program had a Shakespearean theme: “A Summer Night’s Read.”

Garrison commander Col. John Hamilton welcomed the approximately 140 attendees at Thursday night’s awards program.

“Even when you’re just reading a book for fun, you’re learning,” Hamilton told the youngsters. “That’s what’s great about it.”

Among the award winners was Nadia Principe, 12. “I thought it was fun,” she said of the summer reading program.

Here are the top readers for each grade category:

Preschool to first-grade: 1. Jasmine West; 2. Hope Price; 3. Alyssa Rauscher.
Second-grade to fourth-grade: 1. Jensen Call; 2. Eli Chapman; 3. Caity Carney.
Fifth-grade to 12th-grade: 1. Alana McCollin; 2. Nadia Principe; 3. Zachary Wood.