(Belcamp, Maryland – April 29, 2014) More than 16,000 babies, children and teens are anticipated to participate in Harford County Public Library’s 2014 Summer Reading Program, Fizz Boom READ! However, new completion incentives may boost participation significantly.

In addition to “goodie bags,” activities, and a wide variety of treats from the program’s sponsors during registration, every child who completes the program will receive a voucher for a ticket to an IronBirds Game! Further, this year’s high school completers will each receive a $10 gift card from Walmart. The incentive for the high school program called Spark a Reaction is twice the amount than in past years. Children from birth through middle school will continue to receive an age appropriate book selected by the Library when they complete the program.

“Each year we work with our partners and sponsors to add new incentives to register and complete the program. This year I think we have a HOME RUN!” said Mary Hastler, Director for the Harford County Public Library. “We are deeply grateful for everyone’s support. A love for learning begins at childhood and frequently at the Library. Our annual Summer Reading Program helps to develop early literacy skills and to keep young minds growing throughout the summer.”

Susquehanna Bank, a first-time sponsor for the program, generously provided the sponsorship for the IronBirds’ ticket voucher, and Walmart, also a first-time summer reading partner, provided the contribution necessary to increase the high school completer incentive.

Total costs for the Summer Reading Program are nearly $60,000. The program has been fully funded for the last two years through sponsor contributions, donations from the Library’s Friend’s groups, and funds raised from the Harford County Public Library Foundation’s annual mailing campaign and events. The 2014 Summer Reading Program Sponsors are Jones Junction, Walmart, Susquehanna Bank, Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association, HarCo Credit Union, Aberdeen Rotary Club, Darlington Friends of HCPL, Berardino Family Trust, Advanced Eye Care, The Aegis, APG Federal Credit Union, Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Huether-McClelland Foundation, Wegman’s and the Aberdeen IronBirds.

“Walmart is committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and work, and we are thrilled to be lending support to this special Harford County cause. The Harford County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program will positively influence the minds of children throughout the area. This organization makes an exceptional contribution to the community and we hope our support will go a long way toward furthering the positive impact of this program,” said Nina Albert, Director of Community Affairs for Walmart.

“We are honored to have so many companies and individuals partner with us each year. Many of our sponsors, including the Huether McClelland Foundation, Berardino Family Trust, Darlington Friends, HarCo Credit Union, APG Federal Credit Union, and The Aegis, have contributed to the effort since its initiation,” said Amber Shrodes, Foundation Director for the Harford County Public Library. “We are also proud to have new firms including Walmart, Jones Junction, the Aberdeen IronBirds, and Susquehanna Bank support the effort. Our community is very supportive of the Library and the services it provides to our residents.”

Jones Junction, a new sponsor for the program is excited to partner with the library and is offering several exciting registration incentives for families to read this summer including an opportunity to purchase Jones for a Lifetime at a reduced cost.

“We have devoted ourselves to helping and serving our customers. From the sale of quality vehicles and excellent customer service, to charitable contributions and volunteer support in the communities our customers and employees live in, we are deeply invested in Harford County’s quality of life. We are proud to “give back” in this way and thrilled to support the Library’s Summer Reading Program this year!” said Debra McCollum, CFO for Jones Junction.

Program sponsors will be on hand to offer additional incentives, and greet and talk with families at the Summer Reading Registration Kickoff on June 16. Families are invited to register for the program and take part in a vast array of activities including guest appearances by Tales, the Library mascot; Ferrous, the Aberdeen IronBirds mascot; and local scientists who will perform hands-on experiments at the Aberdeen and Bel Air Libraries.
Children and teens can sign up for the Summer Reading Program at any Library branch. The “Read To Me” program is for birth through pre-school readers and their caregivers. Participants are encouraged to listen to 25 books. Elementary school participants can Fizz Boom READ! 10 books, and middle school and high school students can take part in Spark a Reaction by reading 3 books.
Throughout the summer the Library will have programs and fun for everyone including a fun romp in the swamp with musical performer Billy B, the magical Mike Rose and visits from Wildlife Adventures, the Extreme Balloon Man, FutureMakers, Mad Science, Candy & Cupcake, InterAct Story Theatre and more!

The Harford County Public Library Summer Reading Program runs through August 16th. Please visit or pick up a Headlines & Happenings Newsletter at any of the Library’s 11 branches for more information on programs and other events.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves 182,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of over 4.1 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

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