For more than 20 years, the Library of Graham has been giving children incentives to read during the summer. 

This year's Texas Reading Club Summer Reading Program promises to pack a punch bigger than ever before, as there are eight performers lined up to present programs to children from preschool to middle school, three of which are new to Graham.

The reading program encourages extracurricular reading during summer months by giving away books, book bucks and prizes at the end of the program in July. Most importantly, it fosters early childhood literacy. Children can sign up for the program May 27 through mid-July — but the sooner the signup, the better. 

For every two hours of reading a child records into his or her reading log, they will receive a book buck and the opportunity to pick out a free Scholastic book of their choice. Each book buck goes into a finale drawing at the end of the program, which features prizes from games, more books, Taco Casa Taco Bucks, Dairy Queen ice cream vouchers, a one-day pass to the Graham Public Pool and other prizes. Additionally, readers will get a goodie-filled recyclable bag donated by United Supermarkets in which students can carry their books all summer long.

“(These incentives) get kids who are a little more reluctant (to read) to sit down and read,” said Sherrie Gibson, library director, who added she sees both returning and new faces to the program each year. “There are a lot of kids that don't get to go on vacation so this gives them something to do.”

Read more in Wednesday's Graham Leader.