Schools may be on summer break, but the activity is heating up at Metropolitan Library System branches.
The summer reading program kicked off Friday, and there will be dozens of activities throughout the summer aimed at kids of all ages.
Participants can earn prizes based on how much reading they do. Six hours of reading or listening to audio books is required to move up a level. Prizes include a library backpack, a coupon book for attractions and restaurants, and free books.
Those who go beyond the first three levels will be entered into a drawing to win prizes such as iPads, a telescope or free passes to Frontier City.
This year's program will run until July 31.
Children's services coordinator Lisa Woods said the reading program has grown from small beginnings to 20,000 kids last summer. Even more are expected this year.
“We are blown away by how many people have signed up,” Woods said. “Every year the numbers go up. Last year we had a 20 percent increase. Usually it's around 10 percent.”
Woods attributes the success to the system's relationship with schools and parents who are looking for things for their kids to do.
“Reading is a good way to avoid that summer slide that a lot of kids fall into when they get out of school,” she said.
Activities will include performances by Spaghetti Eddie and a theater production from Rhythmically Speaking. There also will be a stage combat workshop and juggling lessons. The Wizard Rock concert will return July 17.
To learn more
For more information on the Metropolitan Library System's summer reading program and events at branches, go to www.