School’s out and it’s time to sign up for the Harford County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, One World Many Stories

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It’s the first weekday without school and that means it’s time for the BANV family to sign up for the Harford County Library’s Summer Reading Program, One World Many Stories. The program had its big debut on June 13. Here’s the release from the library with all the details:

SUMMER READING KICKS OFF WITH SCIENCE FAIR AND MORE

(Belcamp, Maryland – June 15, 2011Harford County Public Library (HCPL) kicked off its Summer Reading Program, One World Many Stories, on Monday, June 13th to a fanfare of events and excitement.

Festivities began with a Preschooler Fun Day at the Whiteford Branch.  Creative Ways preschool attended the morning’s activities along with numerous families. Guests were delighted to meet Tales, the library mascot, and Ferrous, the Ironbirds’ mascot.  Children participated in a story time, played in the puppet theatre and, of course, signed up for the Summer Reading Program.

“Summer reading is so important for children to participate in. Studies show that students that read during the summer return to school in the fall prepared to learn,” stated Library Director, Mary Hastler.  “Harford County Public Library makes the summer reading experience fun with incentives, programs and activities for all ages!” Hastler further explained.

Later in the  day at the Abingdon Branch, 600 children and teens registered for summer reading with many attending the LEAP (Learn Explore and Play) Kit Science Fair where local scientists provided demonstrations. LEAP kits are a collection of high-quality science equipment, materials and resources.

The LEAP Kit Science Fair kicked off a partnership between the NMTC (Northeastern Maryland Technology Council) and HCPL to dramatically expand the number of LEAP kits the library has to offer the community. The LEAP Sponsorship Program is made possible by contributions and leadership from NMTC and offers businesses interested in supporting STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) learning an opportunity to sponsor the LEAP kits for the Library. Raytheon and RTR Technologies have already supported the effort with sponsorships for the Mindstorms Robot and the WeDo Robotics kits.

“STEM learning is a top priority for our organization and its partners,” stated John Casner, Executive Director, NMTC, and personally the sponsor of the LEAP Bridge Engineering Kit. Casner was on hand at the LEAP Science Fair to help launch the program.  “We know how important it is to provide our youth with the opportunity to experiment with these resources as curiosity will plant the seeds for further learning in these fields,” Casner further explained.

For the first time the LEAP kits will count towards readers’ Summer Reading Program requirements, an effort to help fill the “learning gap” created during the summer months.

Last year more than 18,000 young readers participated in the Summer Reading Program, which offers reading programs for children birth through high school. All participants receive a free book bag when they register and a new book or a gift certificate upon completion. Incentives are while supplies last.

The Summer Reading Program is one of HCPL’s largest outreach efforts and is supported entirely by sponsorships. This year’s generous sponsors are HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union, Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Aegis, PNC Bank, HCPL Foundation, Aberdeen Rotary Club, Berardino Family Trust, Huether-McClelland Foundation, APG Federal Credit Union, James Kennedy, Lucie Snodgrass, Mary McClelland, and Mark and Mary Hastler.

“HAR-CO is proud to continue their community commitment in supporting the Harford County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program for the eighth consecutive year,” stated Teresa Knox of HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union. “We recognize the importance of this program for the students and families in our community,” she added.

Please visit hcplonline.org for more information on the Summer Reading Program. To inquire about LEAP kit sponsorship opportunities and to access the online automated system, please visit hcplonline.org/programs/leap.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 210,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.