Mid-Columbia Libraries is looking to keep kids and adults reading with its annual summer reading program.
More than 7,800 people have signed up for the program since it began June 1, library officials said, and 76 adult teams have formed for a new team read challenge.
More are expected to participate, thanks to prizes ranging from a Seattle Seahawks tailgating package and video game system bundles to family-friendly events at the library district's branches.
"Our Friends of the Mid-Columbia Libraries have been generous with their support," said library spokesman Davin Diaz of this year's prize lineup.
The "Fizz Boom Read" program requires participants to spend at least 15 hours reading between June 1 and Aug. 17 to qualify for prizes. Every child who meets the minimum goal will receive a free book and adults earn a free tote bag, while supplies last.
But the bigger prizes include a laptop computer, XBox or Wii gaming systems and a music package.
Adults also can participate in the Team Challenge competition. Groups of three to five people can pool their reading hours together. The three teams logging the most hours earn a free lunch at a restaurant of their choice.
"The Team Challenge is a new program launched this year, and we couldn't be happier with the number of teams signed up," Diaz said.
Activities at the branches in the coming weeks in support of the reading program include science events and musical performances.
To sign up and see more details about the reading program, go to www.midcolumbialibraries.org.
The Richland Public Library is also offering a summer reading program. Visit the children's desk for information or call 509-942-7452
-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald