ENID, Okla. — Public Library of Enid and Garfield County's summer reading program begins with a party 5-7 p.m. June 7, with a bouncy house, face painting, snow cones and bumper balls courtesy of Big Bubble Sports.

The kickoff is just one of many events planned that coincide with this year's space-themed summer reading program, "A Universe of Stories." Children, teens and adults all have something lined up for them, from Space Camps, glow-in-the-dark parties, lightsaber crafting and sci-fi fan trivia nights. A full schedule is available on the library website, enid.okpls.org.

The reading program runs until July 19, and encourages children and teens to keep cracking open books even when school is out, and avoid the summer slide.

Program coordinators want kids to get at least two hours of reading in a week, children's program director Karen Boardman said.

Those two hours will prevent children from losing progress they made in reading during the school year, she said, "so when they go back to school they'll be ready to start back where they were."

There's not quite as much a benefit for adults, beyond the enjoyment of reading itself, adult programs director Margo Holmes said. However, children have a way of picking up grown-up behaviors.

"One (benefit) would be to model good behavior for their kids and their grandkids," Holmes said. "If children see them reading, it might encourage them to read too."

Throughout the summer, participants are asked to fill out log sheets, tracking the number of minutes spent reading, Boardman said. Accrue enough minutes and readers can earn "book bucks," and trade those in for more books.

At the end of the reading program, prizes will be awarded to the summer's biggest bookworms.

Register for the summer reading program at the library. Registration is open until June 28.

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Willetts is education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. He can be reached at mwilletts@enidnews.com.

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