Summer Reading Program kicks off at Daniel Boone Regional Library

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COLUMBIA - The Summer Reading Program started Wednesday at Daniel Boone Regional Library. 

About 260 students registered on the first day. Sign ups last until to the end of July. 

Last year 3,876 students birth through 12 signed up for the program, but only about one third completed it. 

Children's services manager Sarah Howard said the low completion rates are standard across the country.

"Nationwide people get busy, they go to visit grandparents, or they have other projects for the summer. We get them started and hopefully they'll be reading whether or not they finish the program," Howard said.  

This year's theme is sports and wellness. Students can read whatever books they want to complete 20 hours of reading. 

Children from ages five through 12 will also perform ten activities, and teens 12 through 18 will read 20 books and  write three book reviews. 

The program runs until August 13, and acts as an incentive for students to read during the summer months. 

Howard said the point is to help avoid the "summer slide" and make sure children are still reading.

"We're talking about a life skill here, they need to be able to read all the time," she said.