MEXICO — The Mexico Public Library is kicking off their annual summer reading program on Monday, June 23, with registration beginning on Monday, June 9, Library Director Valerie Messana said Monday afternoon.

The theme of the 2014 summer reading program is “Read: May the Books Be With You,” Messana said. 

Messana said that she got the idea to use a Star Wars theme from an article in a library magazine.

“There was an article that was showcasing different ideas that were coming out of the American Library Association,” Messana said. “Using Star Wars was one of those ideas, and I thought it would be perfect for the kids. Plus, there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out, something that was in the back of my mind when I read the magazine article.”

The program will culminate in a reading party on Tuesday, August 12, at which children will have the chance to dress up in Star Wars costumes and participate in a pizza lunch.

“Last year, we did the same thing, when we had a superhero-themed reading program, and it went very well,” Messana said. “A lot of the kids dressed up in different costumes and watched superhero cartoons. I bamboozled one of my friends into dressing up like Superman and speaking to the kids about being a buddy and not a bully. The kids has the option to take a picture with him.”

Kids from the ages of 2 to 14 are welcome to register for the reading program.

Messana said that the program will be split up into three separate groups: ages 2 to 5, ages 6 to 10 and ages 11 to 14. Kids will receive a prize for spending a certain amount of time reading or looking at books with an adult or on their own, depending on age group.

“We get a lot of local businesses donating prizes to us, which is nice,” Messana said. “Frosty Delite, Pizza Hut and Subway have been really good about giving us coupons for free food items. We also have non-food prizes in there.”

Kids who sign up for the program will also receive a free book bag with a reading log, parent letter and a schedule of summer events.

“Every year, we give the kids who sign up a free ticket to a Portland Sea Dogs game,” Messana added. “They call different public libraries throughout the state, and if we say that we’re interested, they send us vouchers for free tickets to give to the kids.”

For more information on the summer reading program, call the library at 364-3281.

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