GREENFIELD — Three-year-old Warren Jacobi stood on his tiptoes and grabbed a large book on wizarding that was about half his size, then dropped it on the floor to flip through the pages.
The Greenfield boy was visiting the Hancock County Public Library in Greenfield on Tuesday with his mother and 5-year-old sister, who was doing her share of book reading.
The family plans to participate in this year’s summer reading program at the library, which begins June 1 and runs through August 1.
The summer reading program – with individual challenges for children, teens and adults – has the ocean as its theme this year, called Oceans of Possibilities.
Kristin Jacobi, mother of Warren and sister, Eliza, said her children participated in the library’s winter reading program earlier this year and were also looking forward to participating in the summer program.
“It’s good motivation to have a certain number of hours to try to read each week,” said Jacobi, who instilled a love of books in her children from an early age.
It’s music to the ears of the library director, Dave Gray.
“Our summer reading programs encourage lifelong reading habits and help children maintain their reading skills,” he said.
Cathy Riley, the library’s youth services manager, said the summer reading program is a great way to motivate children and adults to read through the lazy, foggy days of summer.
Library patrons can register online at hcplibrary.org and register the time they spend reading to win e-tickets to enter the sweepstakes.
For the children’s summer reading club, which caters for babies through to students entering fifth grade, all children who complete five hours of reading can claim a paperback and surprise. They can also enter sweepstakes to win gift cards at fun places like Dairy Queen, Culver’s, and Build-A-Bear, to name a few.
For the Teen Summer Reading Club, which is for students entering grades 6-12 in the fall, all teens who sign up can claim an ocean-themed vinyl sticker. Once they’ve read 10 hours, they can claim a Libby’s Ice Cream paperback and gift card. Teens can also enter raffles for gift cards for Evolution VR, Hometown Comics and more.
Adults 18 and older can participate in the Adult Summer Reading Club. Everyone who reads 20 Hours can claim a free personal pizza at Mozzi’s Pizza and enter sweepstakes for a variety of prizes, like gift cards for Arrowhead Golf Course and Daniel Vineyard.
Adults can also enter to win unique prizes like a Lego Disney castle set and personalized Nike by You shoes.
Gray said his staff is working hard to put together a variety of prizes that will pique the interest of attendees, including those from local businesses.
While a few prizes and gift cards are from chain restaurants or stores, the majority are from businesses unique to Hancock County, including Mozzi’s Pizza, Frosty Boy, Confection Connection, and Hitherto Coffee + Gaming Parlor. There’s also a senior photo package from local photographer Shawna Marie Photography, and the chance to peek behind the curtains at Greenfield Chocolates to see how the chocolates are made.
Riley said the prizes are a fun way to encourage readers of all ages to pick up a book or books throughout the summer and get lost in the joy of reading.