The Vernon Parish Library finished up its summer reading program with an awards celebration.

Many children enjoyed cake and snacks to close out the program, at the library's Party at the Park, on today, in Anacoco. Certificates were presented and prizes were given out for those who read the most.

Throughout the summer, participants were exposed to performers and artists who encouraged reading through methods such as drama, puppets, live animals, songs, and magic.

"All the kids in the program had to read at least ten books, no matter what age group, to get their reading certificate," said Children's Librarian, Priscilla Watson. Once they reached 15 books, they received a t-shirt with this year's library theme, "Reading is a Hoot." For every five books after that, readers received treats or trinkets.

"Reading levels drop so much during the summer if children don't continue to read. Then they have to catch up when school starts," said Watson.

The reading program, focused on ages 3-18, is intended to not only maintain children's reading levels, but to help them progress while school is out of session.