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Harrison Library Pushes Summer Reading For Kids

HARRISON, N.Y. – Nearly 150 Harrison students have been reading over the summer and being rewarded for it through the Harrison Library’s “Dream Big Read!” program. Children’s librarian Liz Karkoff said she is grateful the month-long program has been a success.

“It’s great. I love it,” Karkoff said of the Summer Reading Game, which started on July 10. “It’s amazing how excited kids can get about little prizes. It’s fun and it keeps them reading.”

For every 15 minutes a child reads, they earn a star. The stars are used to get prizes from bubbles (30 stars) and rainbow crayons (25 stars) to a slush puppy at Jottery Stationery (15 stars) and a $4 gift certificate at Donahue's (50 stars). Children can also write reviews of the book, which are featured on the Harrison Library website, for one star.

Nine-year-old Angela Amarilla said she was thrilled to reach the 50-star mark on Monday while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows . She was the first to reach the top prize and loved being rewarded for reading.

“I’m really proud of myself,” said the fifth grader at Samuel J. Preston Elementary School. She said she's not finished yet with the final book in the popular seven-part series, but is looking forward to her trip to Donohues and said Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was her favorite book.

While many of her friends do not participate in the program, Amarilla urged her cousin to join and now they are both reading in the program.

Karkoff said she was grateful for Donohues and Jottery for their involvement in the program.

“They’ve been great – they’ve been so supportive of the library, so I really appreciate it,” said Karkoff. “They are so generous to donate.”

She said the best part of the program is that “it’s a real community event” and there is a strong connection between the teenagers and kids.

“The partnership is great to see,” said Karkoff. “Kids get attached to their teenager – it’s great.”

The annual summer reading game has been popular with participants from kindergarten through third grade. All the participants who complete 16 hours of reading will be entered into a library raffle for an additional prize.

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