Participation in the Summer Reading Program at the Portsmouth Public Library (PPL) skyrocketed, seeing its largest increase of youth involvement in the last 10 years. PPL has been celebrating with a series of carnivals of which one was held at the PPL Main Branch on Saturday.
The PPL Youth Services, located in the basement, was galvanized by energetic youth moving from station to station of games set up for the carnival. Lisa Lavender, supervisor of Youth Services at PPL, said they are happy about having more children reading and being engaged in the Summer Reading Program this year.
“Over the last week we have had 200 people come to this carnival. We count everyone, not just kids,” Lavender said. “We did a carnival at the New Boston branch, Lucasville, South Webster, Wheelersburg and then here today at the Main Branch in Portsmouth.
“Kids need to keep reading during the summer because they lose what they gained during the school year. They come in, read the 10 books. Camden Park gave us 500 tickets and we have given all of those away. So, we’ve had 5oo kids finish this program this year, which is probably the most the we have had in the last 10 years and we are really happy about that.”
In addition to tickets to Camden Park, PPL will be giving out other tickets and a grand prize which is a mini-IPad.
“The mini-IPad is the grand-prize. We also have King’s Island tickets, COSI tickets and the tickets to the Newport Aquarium,” Lavender said. “Those were donated tickets to those places that we are able to give out to the kids, so we will be doing the grand-prize drawing sometime next week.”
Jennifer Roth, the mother of Eli, Jacob and Zach Roth who participated in the Summer Reading Program, said her children look forward to the program with great anticipation.
“I think that its great to keep kids kids reading over the summer. It keeps their minds engaged,” Jennifer Roth said. “My children look forward to it. They are all hoping to win the mini-IPad and they love having the Camden Park tickets too. The Portsmouth Public Library does a great job on their programs.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.