Jaunty ragtime music filled the air as children celebrated the grand finale of the Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Lejeune-New River Libraries’ Summer Reading Program (SRP) at the Base Theater on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Aug. 8. 2nd Marine Division’s Dixieland Band was on site to give kids and parents a show in commemoration of the great work they did reading over the summer.

“The SRP is an event, running six weeks, designed to push kids to continue reading and expanding their minds,” said Sean Pittman, Camp Lejeune Base Libraries programs and library technician supervisor. “Over this summer, the participants read for over one million minutes. That’s the second year in a row where we have hit that mark. I am very excited that everyone worked so hard.”

The Summer Reading Program gives children as well as parents the opportunity to challenge themselves as readers and provides fun, educational activities to attend over the break from school. It also instills an appreciation for literacy and leisure reading that will ideally carry through a child’s life.

“We love reading,” said Lisa Proctor, a participant and parent who finished first overall in the adult category. “This is a great way to keep the kids engaged over the summer when they are out of school.”

Children raced to the stage for the opportunity to dance and sing along with band. In addition, lucky participants were chosen from the crowd to play instruments. Children took turns shaking tambourines and clinking bells.

“Today went fantastic,” said Lance Cpl. Maglione, drums player with the 2nd Marine Division Brass Band. “It is always a good time when we get to play for the kids. They are very energetic.”

“We have seen great participation and I am very excited about the numbers we are hitting,” said Pittman. “Several of our winners could not attend today, but our top readers in the teens and kids categories read for over 9,000 minutes and our top adult read over 30,000 minutes.”

Grand prizes were presented to the top three readers in each adult, teen and child categories.

For more information and future library events, call 910-451-1979 or visit https://www.mccslejeune.com/libraries.