Summer reading program offers adventure

We're only a few weeks from the end of the school year, and students are itching to get their summer started. However, not picking up a book all summer can put your child at a serious disadvantage come fall. Local libraries and schools want to get students to read this summer, an exciting new incentive may help. Summer break doesn't stop Esme Hill from keeping the pages turning. Hill is an eighth grader at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She loves having the freedom of summer to delve into a new book.{} "During the summer, I try to read a lot," says Hill. "During the summer{}I can read at my own pace.""When they neglect their reading during the summer months they fall back. So they aren't as ready to enter school. Especially elementary school students and that's an issue for us," says Janine Langston. Langston is the youth services coordinator at the Birmingham Public Library. The library is working on a fix. This summer the library and Red Mountain Park have partnered to give summer readers a zip line adventure. The children will have a chance to get a coupon for the zip line at the park.{}A $50 value.Langston says, "We have goals for students, we try to set goals. For the pre reader, the family readers. It's twenty picture books. For independent beginning readers it's three chapter books. For teens it's three books." Each Birmingham Public Library branch will have three zip line coupons to give away. Langston says there's another way readers can get their hands on a coupon.{} "Students who come into the library can participate in a scavenger hunt, we hide pieces across the library, of course it's information like weird science. They can find those pieces throughout the library, find the answer and then they can enter their name into a drawing."Another library participating is the Library in the Forest at Vestavia Hills.Children's librarian April Moon says every summer more than 3,000 students sign up for their summer reading program.{}"(Red Mountain Park) has given us four passes and we are going to give those to our online kids and our in house summer readers that sign up in a drawing," says Moon.At Vestavia Hills Elementary School, fifth graders Rachel Hall and Grant Kiser are already getting ready for some summer reading.{}To them, the idea of a zip lining adventure makes for a fun chapter.{} "You just have to find time, during car rides or going to sports, you just have to find time (to read)," says Hall. "I{}would love to go zip lining, it would be so much fun.""In{}a month, I{}may read five books," Kiser says. "I would love to be rewarded for reading."Along with the Vestavia Hills and Birmingham Public Library, other libraries participating in this incentive program include the Irondale Library, the Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster and ALhe Pinson Public Library.