Hoping to inspire the next generation of youth to pick up a book and go on an adventure of the mind, Casey Memorial Library kicked off its annual Summer Reading Program Saturday, with several dozen people in attendance.

This year’s theme for the summer is “It’s Showtime at Your Library,” inspired by movies kids love to watch. The purpose of the Summer Reading Program is to inspire children to develop their reading skills, while encouraging them to become lifelong readers and library users. Through reading, kids can keep their favorite characters stories going, long after the movie ends.

“It’s important for children to keep reading throughout the summer,” Amy Roumell, director of Casey Memorial Library, said. “There’s something called the summer slide, which means they go back usually about a grade level over the summer because they’re not reading like they usually do.”

Rachael Bethel, public services librarian at Casey Memorial Library, said registered users may now begin tracking the amount of reading they are doing through the Beanstack program. Individuals or Families can register at https://forthoodcasey.beanstack.org. Users may also download the Beanstack mobile app to keep track of their reading. Books can be from one’s personal collection, from the library or books found at https://mylibraryusa.armybiznet.com.

Participants receive prizes based on their age group and the hours read. A complete list of their individual incentives can be found under the “Logging Badges” tab by logging into the Beanstack app or website. Age groups are pre-readers (young readers who need their parents help), children, teens and adults. Bethel said the first prize for everyone is a Summer Reading Program T-shirt, while supplies last. The final prize for everyone is a book, while supplies last.

“Obviously, as a library we want people to read,” Roumell said. “It’s a great way for people to maintain or expand their literacy skills. When adults read, it’s a great example to their kids to show that reading is important.”

Bethel said over the course of the next six weeks, there will be several weekly activities for Families to enjoy. Tuesdays-Thursdays will have various arts and crafts for kids. There will be weekly classic movies shown at 5 p.m. Tuesdays, which Bethel said are suitable for adults and teens. There will be Family-friendly movies shown at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, which are suitable for children. The classic movie shown on June 25 will be “Some Like it Hot,” while the Family-friendly movie on June 26 will be “Annie.”

The Summer Reading Program will continue through July 27 and will then have an end-of-summer party and awards presentation at 2 p.m. Aug. 3.

Casey Memorial Library is located at the corner of 72nd Street and 761st Tank Battalion Avenue. Library card registration is free and provides users access to books, audiobooks and various education resources. For additional information, call 254-287-4921.