WINCHESTER — The summer reading programs for adults, teens and kids sponsored by Handley Regional Library System begin Monday and run through Labor Day (Sept. 7).

Last year, the library system had over 2,000 reading participants with several thousand attendees at over 300 programs. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, both the adults’ and children’s reading programs will be held online. All three branches of the library are currently closed.

“We are excited to continue to provide the highly-anticipated summer reading program to the community,” said John Huddy, director of Handley Regional Library System, in a news release. “Even in times when we can’t open our physical spaces yet, the virtual component will allow us to connect with not only our existing patrons, but give us the opportunity to engage with the rest of the community through our online programs and services.”

Adults will have a chance to win prizes based on reading logs they complete and turn in listing the number of books, eBooks and audiobooks they read. Prizes include a variety of gift cards to Netflix, Roma’s, Dominoes, Pizzoco and more.

Registration opens Monday at www.handleyregional.org/asrp2020. Reading logs are due by Sept. 9 and each completed log is a chance to win. Participants will receive their reading logs through email or mail. Completed logs can be emailed or mailed in to the library or physically turned in to the library once the buildings open to the public.

“The Adult Summer Reading Program is something our patrons look forward to each season and is a fantastic way for adults who haven’t experienced their local library to get connected,” said Huddy in the news release. “There’s something for everyone.”

The theme for the kids and teens summer program is “Imagine Your Story.” The program begins May 30 with a special day-long virtual kick-off program called Rally for Reading on Facebook and Instagram @handleyregional.

The summer reading program will run through Aug. 6 and will feature a mix of virtual programs for kids and teens including interactive story times and puppet shows, teen-led art programs and video game nights, STEAM activities from home, and more surprises. Virtual and live programs can be viewed online through Facebook @handleyregional.

Participants can win prizes that will be awarded in coordination with the Summer Reading Finale on Aug. 8 based on completion of activities and number of books and minutes read depending on age group. Some virtual programs will have grab-and-go kits made available with supplies and activities to support the program. Patrons can check for those announcements, more information, and register for kits on the library calendar once they are available at www.handleyregional.org. To sign-up online for the program directly and access a mobile app that will track reading progress, visit www.handleyregional.org/youthsummerreading.

The summer reading program motivates children of all ages (and families) to read and develop an increased level of literacy for higher education, employment, and standardized testing. For children, the programs help maintain and grow reading comprehension during the summer when core skills are often underutilized due to summer vacation and lack of educational structure.

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