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Thousands catch reading bug during summer library program

The Thomson-McDuffie Library was buzzing with activity all summer during the annual "catch the reading bug" vacation reading program. Librarian Suzan Harris said 635 children joined the reading club and read 9,869 books.

A total of almost 3,000 children swarmed to the library every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for bug-themed entertaining educational programs, craft workshops and story times.

"We don't read for competition, it's reading for fun," Ms. Harris said.

Last Tuesday, children who read at least 10 books were presented a certificate and a gift coupon to Applebee's restaurant. Those who read 25 to 34 books got an "excellent reader" seal on their certificate, and those who read over 35 got an "outstanding reader" seal.

Sixty percent of the 635 achieved the goal of at least 10 books read.

"We wanted more than that, but that's what we got," Ms. Harris said. "I guess over half is good."

Ms. Harris said reading through the summer helps children retain the skills learned in school.

The vacation reading program is funded by the Library Services and Technology Act Grant administered by the Georgia Public Library Service, and through contributions from the Friends of the Library, Wal-Mart, Kiwanis Club of Thomson, Temple Inland, Thomson Plastics, First Bank of Georgia, Shaw Industries, Coca-Cola of Augusta, Bi-Lo, IGA and Applebee's.

Web posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008

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