Kicking off the 2013 Summer Reading Program “Dig Into Reading” the Preston Library had magician Star Michaelina perform several tricks and get kids excited about reading. In one of her tricks, Star had Savannah Erickson help her give commands to a balloon dog.  PHOTO BY ANTON ADAMEK/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Kicking off the 2013 Summer Reading Program “Dig Into Reading” the Preston Library had magician Star Michaelina perform several tricks and get kids excited about reading. In one of her tricks, Star had Savannah Erickson help her give commands to a balloon dog. PHOTO BY ANTON ADAMEK/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
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Looking for both an educational and entertaining way for your children to get the most out of their summer vacation? The Preston Public Library's annual summer reading program is looking to keep kids reading through the summer while also having fun, so it could be the answer for you.

Their theme this year is "Dig Into Reading" and many programs and activities have already started for children in preschool through middle school. Summer reading program coordinator Pat Fasbender encouraged kids to come to the library where they can improve their reading skills. Some of the activities will also help the children learn some teamwork skills.

The program started on June 3, but the main kick-off event with magician Star Michaelina was the next day, June 4. She performed several magic tricks to around 40 kids that afternoon all while encouraging them to "dig into reading." The program was just the first of several that will last until Aug. 31 and appeal to different age groups.

Activities for school-age children will be held every first and third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. The next event will be held on June 18 where kids will be planting seeds of various plants and discovering different types of rocks.

On July 2, young people will be working with teams in activities forcing them to "think out of the box." Teamwork will again be required for the July 16 activity titled "Egg Puzzles."

In August, the kids will have an Art Day on Aug. 6. The final activity will occur on Aug. 20 and will be a play titled "Mother Goose's Goose is Loose," in which the kids will participate.

For children six years and younger, story time will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 10 to 10:30 a.m. This will entail the reading of a pre-selected book as well as an activity. Storytime will also continue year-round, since it isn't a part of the normal summer reading program. Activities for the summer will fit the theme of summer reading.

In order to inspire the children's reading progress, there will be a weekly prize drawing. Prizes will also be given to children who read a required amount and return a slip confirming that they have indeed read during the week. Kids will need to sign up at the library and their progress will be gauged by books or minutes depending on their age.

For those six years and younger, each child will receive a poster that will hang at the library checkout desk. For each 15 books read, the librarian will give a sticker to put on their poster to show everyone how much they have read. A similar progress monitor will be used for the older children, instead with worm cutouts and reading time.

During Preston Family Nights on June 13, July 11 and Aug. 8, the library will be hosting a reading tree. Kids will be able to come in and get comfortable on blankets while they read. A mystery reader from the community will be there to read as well. Reading will take place from 6 to 6:30 with a drawing for a book occurring at the end.