The county’s public libraries and bookmobile are encouraging youngsters to explore science topics this summer.

“Fizz, Boom, Read!” and “Spark a Reaction” are the themes of reading programs running May 31 to Aug. 9. Those from birth to age 19 — in Read Aloud to Teen divisions— may join at any time during the period.

Studies show that voluntary reading prevents students’ academic “summer slide,” library officials say. The programs are designed with state academic and early learning standards in mind, emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

They include Serpent Scientists, with Jesse Rothacker of Forgotten Friend Sanctuary; Sciencetellers, combining storytelling and science experiments; North Museum of Natural History & Science; Lancaster Science Factory; and Eureka Family Stages’ “Eureka! Great Moments, Great Scientists.”

Many libraries are having kickoff parties in the first week, including the opening-day party hosted by Lancaster Public Library from 1-3 p.m. in Musser Park.

To view the 400-plus scheduled events, visit Event booklets are available at the libraries and on the bookmobile.

Participants can earn various prizes provided by sponsors, including 222 Dutch Lanes, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Barnyard Kingdom at Country Barn, Blue Ball Lanes, Cain’s Lanes, Center Square Bakery, Clearview Lanes, The Comic Store, Comics and Paperbacks Plus, Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches, Lancaster Barnstormers, Lancaster Cupcake, Lancaster Ice Rink, Laserdome, Leisure Lanes, McDonald’s Restaurants, Rita’s, Rocky Springs Lanes, Scratch Cupcakes, Sequential Arts Too, Stoudt Advisors, Strasburg Rail Road Co., Sugar Whipped Cupcakes and Susquehanna Bank.

Last year 20,832 youth participated countywide in summer reading programs.

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