From left: Julian Rodriguez, Junior Rocha and Kasthally Rocha collect their certificates and prizes after completing the Summer Reading program at the local library system.

The annual Summer Reading Program at the Nogales Santa Cruz County Library went on as planned this year, though with a few changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While normally conducted at the library, this summer’s reading program featured grab-and-go activity kits that included “forever” books for children to read at home.

A Reading Program Outreach grant sponsored by the Arizona State Library provided 150 new paperback books for children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, with the goal of increasing access to books for children who might not have access to digital books and other online educational resources.

In addition to the free books, the program also featured reading activities and writing challenges, with writing prompts such as “What I Loved This Year” and a “Short Story About Me.” A total of 35 children from Nogales and Rio Rico participated in the program.

Participants who completed at least three of the program’s challenges were treated to a grab-and-go pizza party. They were also awarded a certificate of completion at the end of July and some prizes.

“With time and patience, the library was able to provide the children of the community with their annual Summer Reading Program and we are pleased to say that it was a success,” said Denisse Ortega, the library’s children’s coordinator, adding thanks to the families who participated in the program, as well as the Arizona State Library, Peter Piper Pizza and The Friends of the Library.

For more information about services that the library continues to offer during the pandemic, call (520) 285-5717 or see Nogales Santa Cruz County Public Library on Facebook.

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