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      Summer program encourages kids to 'dig into reading'

      As summer and graduations approach, it's the time kids look forward to most each year -- no school and no homework.

      However, a popular program has been keeping kids and teens reading even after they're out of the classroom for the summer. This year's summer kids reading program has the theme of "Dig into Reading" and starting June 1st, kids through age 14 can register online and record the number of pages they read to have a chance to win several prizes.

      While the kid's reading program is the most popular, the library encourages people of all ages to pick up a book or two.

      "Even before they're of the reading age, we encourage participation, even if they're read to, so it should start from birth and go your whole life," said Sonja Ferrell, Director of the Ottumwa Public Library. "And that's why we also started the adult program and kept the teen program and so we just want to keep people going throughout all of this for the reading."

      This year ,the library received a $2,000 grant from Target to go towards the program and other donations and partners include Kiwanis, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Cargill Meat Solutions, John Deere, Wal-Mart and Vaughn Automotive. There will also be events for kids going on all summer at the Knights of Columbus.

      It's not just kids that can participate, teens 14 and up can participate in the Summer Reading Program for Teens and Adults 18 and up can join the Adult Summer Reading Program.

      Just a few of the prizes include a personal trampoline, gift cards to the Beach Ottumwa, Ottumwa 8 Theater and Rock & Roll Dairy Bar and Raceway for the kid's program, a Little Bake Shop gift certificate and a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card in the teen program and a certificate to Graham's Ice Cream or the Little Bake Shop and a chance to win a Dining Out Ottumwa gift basket, a Car Spa gift basket or a tablet in the adult's program.

      To find a complete list of prizes and events, and to sign up, visit the Ottumwa Public Library's website.