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Even though school is out for young children and teens for the summer, that doesn’t mean that learning can take a vacation. That’s why Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River libraries set up the Summer Reading Program (SRP), an assortment of events and activities aimed at keeping kids and parents focused on reading and growing.

“We want to keep kids reading in the summer,” said Sean Pittman, programs and library technician supervisor for Camp Lejeune Base libraries. “They lose about 10 to 15 percent of what they learned in school (over the summer break.)”

The SRP is open to all authorized patrons with different tiers of reading levels divvied between children (infant to 11 years old), teens (12 to 18 years old) and adults (18+). Every two weeks, participants eligible for a “level prize” will have a bag with their name on it available to pick up at a library of their choosing. The prizes are geared toward kids, but adults are still welcome to participate, even if it’s more to set an example for their children.

“Parents can read to kids and it counts or kids can read to parents and it will count,” Pittman said.

As far as events go, Pittman is excited about the number of organizations who are collaborating to help with the SRP.

“Our official kickoff is on June 14,” Pittman said. “The EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) and School Liaison program will be there. We’ll also be having a science program at one point and the (Pine Knoll Shores) Aquarium will be coming to one. The Bright Star Theater is doing ‘Wizard of Oz’ for the kids.”

Pittman was particularly excited about the finale event which will showcase some of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s biggest talent.

“We’re having the 2nd Marine Division Band out at the Base Theater,” Pittman said. “It’s their Dixieland Band.”

Pittman also wants teenage participants to expand their literary experiences.

“I asked my teens (in the program) to read a book they wouldn’t normally read,” Pittman said. “One of them picked up ‘War and Peace’. He’s going to Italy and Spain this summer so something tells me he’ll have plenty to read on the plane.”

For those not looking to dive into Tolstoy’s 1200 page novel, Pittman sees the importance of reading anything.

“If you’re reading a cereal box you’re technically reading,” Pittman said. “I always joke that it’s even reading if it’s the subtitles on the television.”

For more information on the Summer Reading Program visit mccslejeune-newriver.com/libraries.

Schedule of Events

Kids Programs (NOTE: Doors open for all events at 1 p.m., event starts at 1:30 p.m. unless stated otherwise)

June 14: Kick Off Event, Harriotte B. Smith Library

June 28: The Insane Science of Fairyland with Casey’s

July 11 – Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium visit, Tarawa Terrace Community Center

July 15: Bright Star Touring Theatre presents “The Wizard of Oz”, Marine Corps Air Station New River Theater

August 1: Summer Movie Matinee, Tarawa Terrace Community Center

August 8: Summer Reading Program Finale featuring the 2nd Marine Division Band, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Base Theater

Teen Programs (NOTE: All activities take place at Harriotte B. Smith Library unless otherwise noted)

June 25: LEGOS Build Night, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

July 9: Green Screen Night, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

July 23: Teen Bowling Day, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Marine Corps Air Station New River Bowling Center

August 9: End of Summer Teen Finale, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.