Editorial: Exercise your mind with the library's Summer Reading Challenge

Ah, summertime.

For many of us, this stretch of the year means lounging by the pool on scorching hot days, riding in the family van to a vacation destination or sitting on the front porch as dusk approaches. While these are all relaxing ways to spend the summer, they are also prime occasions to put your mind to work by reading.

Our friends at the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library are encouraging everyone to read during the summer with a fun-filled Summer Reading Challenge, which is themed "A Universe of Stories." The program is aimed at reversing the dreaded "summer slide," when children are out of school for two to three months and often eschew reading for less engaging endeavors such as playing video games, watching television or simply sleeping until noon.

As of last week, the annual library program had close to 600 participants since registration began on May 28. Registration ends on June 28 and the program ends July 22. You can register at ngrl.org/src2019 or at the library at 310 Cappes St.

The program isn't only for children. Teenagers and adults are invited to join as well.

Younger children are encouraged to read 15 minutes a day while teens and adults are asked to read for 30 minutes. Each age group has log sheets specific to that group (infants through fifth grade; sixth- through twelfth-grade students; and adults ages 18 and older). Children and teens who turn in their log sheets by July 22 are invited to a party, receive a certificate and a prize pack, and have their names entered into a grand prize drawing. Teens will also be invited to a lock-in at the library. Adults who complete the program will be entered into the grand prize drawing.

Making the program possible are the Friends of the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library, the Friends of the Chatsworth-Murray County Public Library, the Friends of the Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library and almost 50 sponsors.

We encourage you to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. We envision groups of friends or families making this a fun competition to see who can read the most over the summer.

What you read doesn't matter. Whether it's a harrowing fictional crime novel, a biography of an interesting historical figure, a comic book or this newspaper, the important thing is to exercise your mind by reading.

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