>   By Jane Stelle
   Youth Services Manager
   I can tell that our summer reading program is becoming a tradition for many Jefferson County families because the end of the school year is nigh and people are starting to ask what we are doing this year.
   "Read! Discover! Explore!" is the theme for the 2003 statewide Summer Reading Program. Our program kicks off June 17 with a concert by Jen and Wendy Bernard, titled "Dig it Up! Songs of Buried Treasure."
   The Bernards' musical performance is just the first of eight weekly programs for children offered by the library this summer.
   Because the theme is so broad, we'll be exploring lots of different subjects including art, foreign cultures, wildlife of Central Oregon, science experiments, and more. Each week we'll do different crafts, games, and activities.
   Programs will run in Madras on Tuesdays, in Warm Springs on Wednesdays and in Culver on Thursdays.
   Here's a little background information for those who don't know about the summer reading program: The Oregon Library Association sponsors a summer reading program each year. They come up with a theme, commission artwork to go along with it and distribute free materials such as posters, bookmarks, stickers, and temporary tattoos to libraries around the state.
   Each public library also gets a notebook full of ideas for summer reading activities. Participating libraries take the theme and create their own individual program around it.
   Statewide corporate sponsors include Wells Fargo, Independent Grocers Association (Erickson's Sentry is our local branch), and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Locally, the employees of Bright Wood donated $850 several months ago for children's library programs and that money will go towards purchasing summer reading T-shirts for participating children and other supplies.
   The purpose of the summer reading program is to encourage children to read during the summer so that when they go back to school in the fall their skills will still be intact. The program also provides fun, free activities to occupy kids during the summer.
   In addition to offering weekly activities, we'll be giving out prizes as incentives for reading. Just by reading for half an hour every day, kids can earn a variety of small prizes and if they keep at it, they will eventually earn a colorful T-shirt with the summer reading logo on it. They can also earn a pass to a free movie for the whole family at the Community Film Center on Aug. 19.
   I have been visiting area schools to talk about the summer reading program and hand out registration packets, but I might not get to every classroom. If your child did not get the registration materials in school, you can pick them up at the library or print them off our web page at
   I hope to see you at the library this summer!
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