Born to read: SJ library encourages kids to pick up books

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Angela Shepherd
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Whitney Houston hit the nail on the head in one of her more popular songs when she sang "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way."
Throughout the summer, libraries across the Air Force stepped up to help keep the base' s children focused on learning and not just summer fun. Seymour's library is no exception. 

On June 13, the base library launched its Children's Summer Reading Program with the theme "Born to read." 

"The program is designed to encourage, support and reward children to develop the lifelong habit of reading," said Faye Couture, library director. "It is not a contest. Instead, each and every child who registers receives prizes and gifts that are purchased using donated money." 

The prizes are reading and learning oriented, things like books, bookmarks, pencils and book bags. 

Children from 1-18 years old are allowed to participate, with a few rules in place. The books have to be from the base library, but they can be either regular or audio books. The child can either read the book or be read to. This works out for everyone, because if an older child who is signed up for the program reads to a younger child in the program, they both get credit for it. And if a group of children listen to an audio book, they again all get credit. 

The new rules and incentives implemented this year helped dramatically increase participation. Last year, only 15 children signed up. This year, more than 250 participated. And all of them will be celebrated in an awards ceremony Tuesday, where all the participants will receive a reading certificate and some prizes. 

"Reading is a critical component of lifelong learning," Ms. Couture said. "So the entire library staff is proud of these children and their parents for participating in the program to enhance and enrich the children's lives." 

And while this year's program wraps up Tuesday, the base library says it plans to bring it back every summer.  For more information, call 722-5826.