Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fayette County Public Library to Participate in Statewide Hawks-Thrashers Summer Reading Challenge for K-12 Students

In addition to its highly popular annual Summer Reading Program for children, teens, and adults, the Fayette County Public Library offers something extra this summer for sports fans entering kindergarten through 12th grade in the fall. The local library has joined a statewide reading incentive program called the Check It Out Reading Challenge. Each participant who reads at least five books between June 2 and August 15 will receive one free youth ticket to a 2008-2009 Atlanta Hawks basketball game and one free youth ticket to a 2008-2009 Atlanta Thrashers hockey game.

Families interested in joining the Check It Out Reading Challenge should visit the Fayette County Public Library on or after Saturday, May 31 and pick up a Check It Out Reading Challenge bookmark. The bookmark (available while supplies last) includes the instructions for how to register online at the program’s website.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Atlanta Thrashers and the Atlanta Hawks will partner with Georgia’s public libraries to challenge young readers to spend more of their free time reading this summer. For the first time, however, the annual Check It Out Reading Challenge will be open to children and teens statewide.

Sponsored by Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) and Atlanta Spirit, the umbrella organization that operates both teams and Philips Arena, the program is designed to supplement each participating library’s Summer Reading Program. It will target young readers entering classes from kindergarten through grade 12, allowing participants to earn sports-related rewards by reading.

The program has grown steadily, from two counties in 2005 to 10 in 2007. In the previous three years of the program, nearly 40,000 Hawks and Thrashers tickets have been awarded to those readers who participated. The success of the Check It Out Reading Challenge has inspired a similar program by the Washington Wizards for young readers in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

“We are so delighted to offer the very best in programming for our kids this summer,” said Christeen Snell, director of the Fayette County Public Library. “Kids and teens can choose from over 100 programs created and designed especially for them. Take the sports challenge. Join the reading program and ‘bee’ ready for the fun of your summer!”

The Fayette County Public Library kicks off this year’s Summer Reading Program on Saturday, May 31 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. with “Bug Fest,” a fun-filled event for the whole family. The theme for the children’s summer reading program this year is “Catch the Reading Bug,” and June and July will be packed with entertaining and educational activities with a buggy flair for all ages. Teens and adults can have summer reading fun, too; the teens’ theme is “Metamorphosis” and adults can find out the many ways the library can help you “Transform Yourself.” Teen and adult participants can complete bingo-style cards based on their reading accomplishments, and turn them in for a chance to win prizes.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administration complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways #85 and #54. For additional information about the Check It Out Reading Challenge and the Summer Reading Program, please contact the library at 770-461-8841 or visit online at
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