Oak Park Public Library launches "20,000 Reads Under the Sea" summer reading program for kids, teens and adults

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By Community Editor

Courtesy Jodi Kolo

Oak Park Public Library invites everyone to dive into summer reading, as it launches "20,000 Reads Under the Sea." This nautical themed eight-week reading adventure brings leagues of opportunities for learning and engagement to Oak Park's toddlers, kids, tweens, teens and adults.

"Summer reading is by far our widest reaching event," says Rebecca Teasdale, Associate Director of Public Services and Programs. "In 2012, more than 3,700 Oak Parkers joined the program."

This year's "20,000 Reads Under the Sea" is the library's first effort designed to reach all audiences with a single theme. The reading program is enhanced with multiple free community events at all library locations, including a Main Library kick-off party and free concert with Grammy-nominated children's musician Dave Rudolf at 10:30 am June 4, and a grand finale event with bubbleologist Geoff Atkins at 10:30 am July 26.

"In addition to being a fun way to engage your family, research shows students who read over the summer are better prepared for school in the fall," says Heather McCammond-Watts, Manager of Children's Services.

Summer reading for children ages 2 to 13 offers motivating prizes, science programs, video games and crafts. Kids ages 10 to 12 can take part in a charitable reading option, choosing to have their efforts put toward a more altruistic cause: supporting purchase of new items for the library's younger customers.

To download new reading recommendations by grade, and get more details for under the sea-themed summer story times and events, families can visit oppl.org/kids

Anyone with an Oak Park Public Library card can join summer reading, signing up at any library location. Teens and adults can also join and participate online, logging reading progress digitally from wherever they are. All paper and digital submissions will be entered into weekly drawings for gift cards at local businesses and a grand prize, with a winner randomly drawn after the program ends July 26.

This free program is brought to the community by the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raise funds for the 5-Star Library.

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