Sign-ups begin June 20 at all branches, and kids will receive a sheet to keep track of their reading, Walker said. For every two hours they read, they receive a prize, until they complete 20 hours. For 9-year-old Zena Meyer, this only took a week and a half last year, she said.
“I really like reading a lot, and I really like getting prizes for it,” she said.
At the time, Zena said she was reading the Harry Potter books, of which “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is her favorite.
“It was so mysterious and also still rather Harry Potter-ish,” Zena said. “I really like all the magic.”
According to her father, David Meyer, Zena has been involved in Newport Beach’s program for the last five years. Meyer said the summer reading program is great because it gives kids an incentive to go to the library.
“It’s an institutional endorsement of what she likes to do, and they love the little prizes,” Meyer said.
The prizes range from bouncy balls and mood pencils to stickers and notebooks and a paperback book when kids finish the program, Walker said. Children can also enter a drawing to win a T-shirt every time they enter the library.
Throughout the summer, the program offers further incentives to come in such as face painting, games and crafts.
Musicians Heebie & Jeebie, a musical comedy duo, will entertain kids along with the Swazzle Puppet Show, balloon artist Mr. Twister and more.
“Every week at least three of our four locations have some kind of program going on,” Walker said.
The Summer Reading Program is funded by the Newport Beach Friends of the Library.