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What ever happened to the days when kids couldn't wait to get to the library and read a book during the summer?

Just picture it...a hot and humid summer day where it's too uncomfortable to play outside, so you take a ride to the library, sit inside and let your mind go on a journey by reading a good book.

In the digital age where kids can't seemingly function without playing video games on a daily basis, spending an afternoon reading a good book seems to be a thing of the past.

But once again this year, the Ocean County Library System in all 21 of its branches is running their summer read program encouraging kids, teens and even adults to head on in and be rewarded for taking a step to keep the mind sharp.

So it's time to eliminate some video game time and pick up the books!

Youth Services Coordinator with the OC Library in Toms River, Glynis Ray says they're encouraging kids to come in, find a great story and be rewarded.

She says for a five book minimum, you'll be rewarded with a number of prizes including a trip to the ballpark.

"If they complete the program we have baseball tickets for the BlueClaws game on August 29," said Ray.

There's also some tasty rewards in addition to catching a BlueClaws game.

"Usually little snack prizes that could be from the local restaurants like an ice cream sundae or a free meal," said Ray.

 

While prizes are great she says their main goal with the program is encouraging kids to read more during the summer.

She says they rely on the old honor system to determine if kids read the book or just breezed through it,"but we have them put their information onto our website and they generally write one sentence about the book."

Fun prizes aside, she says their primary focus is making sure students don't forget all they learned during the school year.

"By the time they're in the 6th grade they could be two years behind everybody if they haven't done reading in the summertime," said Ray. "It's a matter of vocabulary and all the different words that people are hearing during the summer. We want to engage them so that they can keep up on their vocabulary."

She says with this program there's no particular set of books you have to read unless they were previously instructed by your teacher for the summer.

"Some of the schools mandate that they have to read something specific," said Ray. "Let's say they only have to read two of those specific things, they can supplement us with the three fun leisurely activities and books."

For more information on their summer read program, head over to their website or stop on by one of the branches.

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