News Column

Library jump-starts summer reading program for kids

May 29, 2014

By Sarah Lundgren, The Brunswick News, Ga.

May 29--A group of animated children fidgeted and bounced eagerly in front of Karen Larrick Wednesday, putting a smile on her face.

"Are you guys ready for summer reading?" the program coordinator at the Brunswick-Glynn County Library asked the excited little ones in her audience.

As the youth, their parents and Larrick waited for the special announcement portion -- a surprise guest, they were told -- Larrick read several science-themed books to the children seated around her.

This summer's reading program is titled FIZZ, BOOM -- READ. The idea is to spark a reaction in both children and teens.

As the anticipation mounted, the guest announcer finally arrived. Mitch Seabaugh, executive director of the Path2College 529 Plan, traded places with Larrick to chat with the children. He asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, and got responses like "dancer," "firefighter" and "superstar."

"No matter what you want to do when you grow up, there's going to be some learning you'll have to do," Seabaugh said.

Seabaugh told the children they could get a jump-start on that future education just by picking up a book this summer. He introduced the FIZZ, BOOM -- $ave for College program, a statewide initiative to encourage kids to read during the summer and remind parents and guardians of how important a college savings plan is from an early age.

The annual sweepstakes is now in its fifth year, with even more ways to win than before. Four regional winners will each win $1,529 towards a Path2College 529 Plan, and one grand prize winner will receive $5,529 towards a Path2College 529 Plan.

"And if you're a winner from this library, you'll win some money, too," Seabaugh said.

The library of the individual grand prize winner will receive $1,529, and the libraries of regional winners will each receive $529. The sweepstakes costs nothing to enter and the money won is tax-free.

Sign-ups and more information are available on the organization's website,, now through Aug. 10.

To participate, children need to participate in their local Summer Reading Program. At the Brunswick and St. Simons libraries, children can dive into the Summer Reading Program and participate in an endless list of activities, books and more. The local program runs through July 31, but registration must be completed by June 10.

For more information on the local summer reading program, call the Brunswick library at 267-1212 or the St. Simons library at 638-8234.

-- Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at or at 265-8320, ext. 322.


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Source: Brunswick News (GA)

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