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More than 4,300 books read during summer reading

COVINGTON - The Newton County Library System is reporting a successful summer reading program, with more than 4,300 books read by children.

Assistant Director Courtney Lumpkin said 320 kids met the challenge of reading at least eight books over the summer, and 149 read 20 or more books and had their names entered into a contest to win a Kindle. There were three winners.

The summer reading program was held at both Covington and Porter branches and the Newborn Service Outlet. It included several story time and entertainment programs as well as the reading challenge. Lumpkin said 1,500 people, including parents, attended programs. The first program, featuring a puppet show at the Covington branch, was so crowded people had to be turned away due to room capacity, she said.

The program is open to kids age 0 to 17. Kids can read books themselves or have books read to them, write the title down on a reading log and show it at the library to get a prize. Lumpkin said her goal was to have enough participants to give away the 200 prizes she initially ordered, but that was exceeded and she wound up placing another order.

Kids can read whatever they want and many use their school’s reading list as a guide, she said.

“It’s an important program because obviously we want to encourage kids to continue reading over the summer and not to disengage because that way … they’re ready to start the school year,” she said. “Also, it’s good for us to look at the numbers and see what we’re doing that’s working and see the programs that kids and families appreciate most.”