Camas Public Library: Visit www.camaslibrary.org or the library at 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., or call 834-4692.
Washougal Community Library: Visit www.fvrl.org/events, or the library at 1661 “C” St., or call 906-4860.
It’s going to be a race to the finish line at local libraries this summer.
“Ready, Set, Read!” began Saturday in Camas, and “On your mark, Get set, Read!” will kick off at the Washougal Community Library on Wednesday, June 15.
Programs at both libraries are open to those from infants to adults.
In Camas, it will run through Aug. 13, and in Washougal, through Aug. 15.
Both programs include weekly entertainment, as well as prizes for minutes read.
The reason for the slight differences in program dates is that Camas is an independent library, while Washougal partners with the Fort Vancouver Regional Library system.
Rachael Ries, Washougal library branch manager, enjoys the community aspect of the program.
“Kids and adults come in and talk to us about what they are reading, they ask questions about library programs and the local summer events,” she said. “It sparks a lot of discussion.”
She also noted that summer reading draws in a larger number of patrons than other programs throughout the year.
“It is heartwarming to see people smiling and having fun and leaving with books in their arms,” she said. “People should participate because reading is a fundamental skill in our society. Reading helps children develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills, among other things.”
Ries encourages adults to participate in the summer reading program as well.
“They are able to model reading and reading behaviors,” she said. “If children see adults reading and are around books, they are more likely to read themselves. Plus, it’s just a fun summer activity.”
Tak Kendrick, FVRL communications and marketing director, noted that this will be the second year those over 19 years old have been invited to join the summer reading program. “It was a great success,” he said.
Adults who complete the program have the opportunity at a grand prize drawing for a two-night stay at Skamania Lodge, while one winner in each of the youth categories will receive a $200 Amazon gift card.
Ellen Miles, youth services librarian in Camas, encourages kids, teens and adults participate.
“I enjoy seeing kids and teens explore new authors and series, or re-read old favorites, with all their free time during the summer,” she said. “People should participate because reading is fun and good for your brain, plus you get free prizes.”