Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by the Mercer County administration.
Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced the successful completion of the Mercer County Library System 2012 Summer Reading Program, a wonderful opportunity that brings families together over a shared love of books.
This summer, 4,911 children between all nine Mercer County Library branches participated in the program. Together, they read 78,243 books, a testament to the growing interest in the Summer Reading Program for the youth of Mercer County.
“Fostering a love of books encourages young people to be imaginative, articulate and inquisitive for the rest of their lives,” Hughes said. “By sustaining an active engagement in learning throughout the summer months, students develop positive associations between learning, fun and achieving personal goals. The success of this program reflects well on our citizens, and I am proud that Mercer County is host to so many strong library users and happy, well-read kids.”
This year, the Mercer County Library System offered 752 enrichment programs through the overall reading program at the nine participating libraries.
The library system hosted two Summer Reading Programs from June 25 through Aug. 17. “Dream Big: Read!” which ended on Aug. 3, emphasized reading to younger patrons through age 11, and “Own the Night!” was geared toward teens.
In June, each branch hosted a kickoff party, many of which had more than 100 guests. A contributor to the success of the program was the distribution of reading logs for younger children to keep track of their summer reading, as well as an online component for the teens. Incentive prizes were also awarded on a weekly basis to those who returned to the library and reported the number of books they read.
The Summer Reading Program also featured many free exciting educational opportunities, including magic shows, concerts, theater workshops, jugglers, science labs, storytelling, tea parties, petting zoos, musicians, family fairs and the Library Garden at the West Windsor Branch, among many others.
The program also has teen volunteers, who are vital to the success of the project. This summer, the Library System was able to provide 339 teenagers with more than 4,457 hours of volunteer experience.
“I am proud that the Mercer County government can serve our community through the 2012 Summer Reading Program,” Hughes said. “It is vital that education reach beyond the classroom, and that the young people of Mercer County experience the joy of pursuing knowledge and literacy. In so doing, they develop a genuine passion for learning both independently and in school. This program has helped set many children on a path towards academic success and lifelong joy in reading.”
These wonderful opportunities do not end with the season. The Mercer County Library System will offer regularly scheduled story, craft and musical program sessions in September. Please contact your local branch for details, or log onto the library website, www.mcl.org, for a complete listing of children’s and adult programs.