Summer reading program to begin

ALBANY -- The Dougherty County Public Library is gearing up to launch its annual Summer Reading Program this week, library officials say.

This year's program, "Make a Splash," will coincide with a program the library is participating in that could get a local child a check for $5,529 toward the cost of college tuition, Assistant Director Ashley Moore said.

The Georgia Public Library Service is partnering with the state-sponsored 529 college-saving's plan to provide one reader with college assistance, Moore said.

According to information provided by the Albany library, the Path2College 529 Plan, managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc., will sponsor the sweepstakes, which will run through July 31.

At its conclusion, the grand prize winner will receive $5,529 toward a Path2College 529 Plan account and the hometown library of the winner will receive $1,000 to be used for its children's and teen's departments.

In addition, the Georgia library with the greatest number of entries and the Georgia library system with the greatest percentage of their registered users entered into the sweepstakes will each win $1,529 for their children and teen materials and programming.

You have to have been born after 1993 and have an adult guardian's permission to participate.

The Dougherty County Library will be encouraging participation in the program, along with its Summer Reading Program which is set to start Thursday, Moore said.

"Studies have shown that school-aged children who actively read during their summer breaks do better on tests, have higher grades and perform better on standardized tests than non-readers," Moore said.

That's one reason why the library is heightening its programs during the summer months.

The program will kickoff Thursday with "Stories Alive!" featuring storyteller Mama Koku at Thronateeska Heritage Center.

For more information on the programs and workshops offered during the summer, go to www.docolib.org.