Children of all ages are invited to dig deep and explore all things underground this summer as the Sebastian County Library presents "DIG INTO READING" during the summer library program. Registration for the free program began May 28 and will continue through the end of the program on July 25. Children must be 4 years of age or older to participate in the program.

Children will experience a variety of underground topics throughout the summer including pirates, dinosaurs, buried treasure, caves, gardening, construction vehicles, burrowing animals like gophers, prairie dogs and groundhogs, ants, snakes and even digging for trouble with gnomes and elves.

Activities at the library will include story hours, craft times, book drawings, an art contest, candy guessing contests, handouts and worksheets, reading souvenir prizes and more.

The library has branches in Greenwood, Hartford, Lavaca and Mansfield. All locations will be participating in the reading program and readers can visit their local library to sign up and get full information.

The individual achievement reading program is not a competition, but rather a chance to discover the joy of books and reading and a chance to discover the library’s services.

The program is divided into two age groups: Independent Readers will get a chance to improve skills gained in school during the past year, and the Read to Me Division will get help developing early literacy skills for those who will have books read to them or still need help reading.

Readers work at their own pace and on their own level. Children need to register for the program in person. Library cards are required to check out books. Cards can be in the parents’ name or children age 6 and above can get their own cards with an adult’s approval.

Children will check out books, read them at home and then have the titles recorded at the library where they will earn small incentives, stickers and food coupons when the have reached reading goals. .

For those who complete the program’s minimum requirements, they will be invited to a summer reading party at the end of the program with carnival games, goody bags, and a professional magician. Complete instructions will be available at the time of registration.

Classroom teachers stress the importance of maintaining reading habits over the summer to avoid problems during the school year. People who read more, write better, and their vocabulary and reading speed increases.

As children read and record books from a suggested list of types of books, they will win small incentives related to digging adventures. Food coupons from The Pizza Barn, Julz Bakery, CV’s IGA, The Dog Pound, McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King will be awarded upon completion of minimum requirements at the library.

The Library in Greenwood will repeat four weekly story hour times and three make and take craft times. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required for each session. Participants must be enrolled in the summer program to participate. Details and schedules will be provided at the time of registration. Each Branch Library will offer a weekly story time.

The Greenwood Library is located at 18 N. Adair, next door to the Pizza Barn.

The Sebastian County Library in Greenwood is open Mondays 9 to 7:30; Tuesdays through Fridays 9 to 5; and Saturdays 9 to noon. The Mansfield Library is open Mondays 9:30 to 4 and Thursdays 10 to 2. Hartford Branch Library is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 to 11:30 and 12:30 to 4:30. Lavaca is open Tuesdays 1 to 5.

Check with your local library for complete details. Library cards are required to check out books and materials. All the program activities are free of charge. For more information, call the Greenwood Library at 479-996-2856.

"DIG INTO READING" is the official summer public library program offered by a collaborative of 49 states including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Louisiana. Locally, it is co-sponsored by the Sebastian County Library, Scott Sebastian Regional Library, Arkansas State Library, and Friends of the Sebastian County Library as well as those local merchants donating incentive coupons.