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Library summer reading programs offer motivation to keep kids reading

May 21, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown will offer summer reading clubs for those children in eighth grade and lower from Tuesday, June 1, through Tuesday, Aug. 31. About 2,000 Washington County kids enrolled in last summer's reading clubs - and coordinators hope the game boards, prizes and special activities will motivate even more youngsters to sign up for the "Say What?" middle school club and "Fairy Tales Rule" club for younger children, said Jeff Ridgeway, children's librarian at the Washington County Free Library.

The Fairy Tales Rule club challenges young readers to complete four quests of six tasks each on the game board, including reading a fairy tale and stories about a castle, dragons and the outdoors. The game board also features riddles, a recipe and craft idea. Kids who successfully complete each quest will earn such prizes as pencils, stickers, bookmarks, round playing cards, kaleidoscopes and fiber optic wands. In addition to completing the tasks, all participants must read at least 10 books during the summer months to successfully complete the club.

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The Say What? club charges middle school-age readers to complete 12 activities - including reading a biography, newspaper and magazine articles, and accessing specific Web sites - on a tabloid-style newspaper that features short, humorous articles about fairy tales. Participants will earn prizes for every three tasks completed.

Reading club members will be invited to a kickoff event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 11, at the central library in downtown Hagerstown. Festivities will include puppets, storytelling, games, crafts, snacks and a T-shirt sale. Another club gathering with Jim the Plain Clothes Clown is being planned for July at the central library and seven branch libraries. And, in August, reading club members who successfully completed the program can attend a Frederick (Md.) Keys baseball game on Tuesday, Aug. 17, or Wednesday, Aug. 18, and a "Library Night with the Hagerstown Suns" - complete with fireworks - on Friday, Aug. 27.

For more information, call Ridgeway at 301-739-3250, ext. 132.

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