Summer break has begun for local schools, which means children have more time on their hands to fill with activities, sports, friends, and one important item to help them stay on-track for the next school year - reading! The Spring Grove Public Library is encouraging children of all ages to Paws for Reading this summer and visit the library to check out a good read.

The Summer Reading Program is open to all children thru fifth grade. It is Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. through July 14. Children participating in the program will learn about a different animal each week through a story and a craft and sometimes even a special animal guest. There will also be plenty of time for exploring the library and time for checking out books and maybe even a delicious snack.

"We really want to encourage kids to keep reading all summer long," commented Angie Halverson, Summer Reading Program coordinator. "If kids don't read during the summer, then they are apt to be behind when school begins again."

The participants will receive reading logs to track the time and books that they read. These will be turned in at the library and then their names will go into a drawing for prizes such as passes to the Spring Grove SWIM Center, certificate for ice cream at Doc's Blue Moose, Spring Grove Cinema movie passes, toys, crafts, books, and more!

"If there are older kids that would like to be helpers, we'd really appreciate that," added Halverson. "We can always use extra hands especially during craft time. We hope to see lots of kids at craft night - we invite anyone to come and check it out and have some fun at our library this summer."

Halverson spoke to the kindergarten through sixth grade classes during the last week of school explaining the Summer Reading Program. She gave all the students information about the program, including information about suggested reading lists by grade. These lists will be available at the library or they can also be accessed online at www.haislin.org/recommendedreadinglists.html.

On the last evening of the Summer Reading Program they will be hosting a special musical guest, The Zinghoppers. They are based in Minneapolis and specialize in fun dance-pop and hip-hop music for children and families. Their website, www.zinghoppers.com, states, "Created in the classroom by husband and wife preschool teachers, our music is educational, entertaining and engaging. We have an EMMY Award winning kids TV series airing on over 150 PBS member stations nationwide. We're also seen by over 3 million people daily in 175 countries on the Armed Forces Family Channel."

A special performance by this musical group will take place in the gazebo of Viking Memorial Park as a celebration of the Summer Reading Program. The rain location for the concert will be at the Fest Building. The concert is open to everyone.

For any questions about the Summer Reading Program, stop in at the Spring Grove Public Library or give them a call at, 498-5800. They are open Monday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday 1 p.m. - 8 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thursday 1 p.m. - 8 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.