During the summer months, public libraries all across the nation host reading enrichment programs. These programs take many forms and follow different protocols, but they also have commonalities. They are free of cost, open to the public, and promote reading across all ages. These programs help prevent students from losing information they learned during the school year.

Every year the summer reading program theme changes; this year it was space-themed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 2019. Past years’ themes have featured music, conservation, engineering, geology, and sports. The theme for summer 2020 is “Imagine your story,” which will turn our focus to fairy tales and mythology.

This year’s library programs were a success once again in Highlands County. Lake Placid Memorial Library noted over 500 hours worth of reading. If you think about it, that is over 22 days worth of time spent reading. Some of the top readers at this library were between the ages of 7-12. Avon Park Library garnered huge crowds with over 900 participants recorded for their offered events and programming during the whole summer. Participants in Sebring Public Library’s reading program read over 700 books during June and July.

Even though summer is coming to an end, participants in the summer reading programs can still reap the rewards of their efforts. If you kept a reading log as part of the reading program, hang on to it and take AR tests for the titles you read. This will be a quick way to earn a lot of points in the beginning of the year.

If you need more reading material that is out of this world, try these AR-testable books:

“Space Games” by David Orme (BL: 3.4 — AR Pts: 0.5) — On board “The Searcher” and traveling through space, Todd enlists the help of the ship’s captain to create a soccer field in one of the unused cargo holds so he and the other soccer fans can have interplanetary matches.

“Willy Maykit in Space” by Greg Trine (BL: 4.0 — AR Pts: 3.0) — When fourth-grader Willy Maykit gets stranded on Planet Ed during a class trip to outer space, he is in for an adventure. But will he be able to outwit the monsters inhabiting Ed and find his way back home?

“Space Boy and His Dog” by Dian Curtis Regan (BL: 2.6 — AR Pts: 0.5) — Niko builds himself a spaceship to take his dog, Tag, and his robot copilot, Radar, to the moon. His plans go awry when his sister stows aboard.

Now that the school year is upon us, make sure to visit your local public library for books, research, free WiFi, computer use, and printing. There are electronic databases available to library patrons that could prove useful when completing projects for school. Stop by so we can tell you all about it.

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