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Photo from Kelly Flemings / Participants who complete the Soddy-Daisy Community Library's Epic Summer of Reading program will receive a themed T-shirt.

School's out. Time to trade those textbooks for more books. Fun ones!

Fun, yes, but reading in the summer has been shown to keep your brain sparking from the end of one school year to the start of another, so you'll be better prepared when formal learning begins again.

Community libraries can help with your summer reading lists — and they'll award prizes too. Here's a look around the region.

* Chattanooga Public Library will inspire kids to "Make. Play. Read. Learn." with activities that include reading books, crafting, performing science experiments and participating in book discussions. Registration is open through July 30.

Everyone who registers gets a free book and a Welcome Back Chatt Pack, which can be picked up at any branch (curbside available). Packs include a lanyard for the buttons you'll earn when you complete challenges. The littlest learners, children up to age 2, will receive a shaker egg, a musical toy, instead.

To complete the MPRL Great Reading Adventure, participants may either read 20 minutes a day for 70 days and complete challenges to reach 2,000 points or read for 2,000 minutes this summer. You can pick up a button for your lanyard for every 200 points you complete. Upon completion, you will receive a 3D-printed medal and be entered into end-of-summer prize drawings.

The library's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts will feature surprise pop-ups, take-and-makes, challenges and secret missions. Lessons and books may be accessed on the YouTube channel, chattlibrary.tv.

The summer reading lists are supported by the Hamilton County Department of Education. There's a Chattanooga Basics book list for kids too young to start school.

The Chattanooga Public Library has locations at 1001 Broad St. (main branch); Eastgate at 5705 Marlin Road; Northgate at 278 Northgate Mall Drive; and South Chattanooga at 925 W. 39th St. The Avondale branch is currently closed. Membership fees may apply to non-Chattanooga residents.

Register online at chattlibrary.org/mprl.

* Collegedale Public Library, 9318 Apison Pike, starts its summer reading program, the animal-themed Tails and Tales, on June 1. You can stop by the library to pick up a book log or sign up online. Participants are challenged to read 20 minutes a day for 20 days to complete the program — and you can keep reading for bonus prizes. Crafts, storytime and outdoor treks are scheduled throughout June and July.

Find out more at collegedalepubliclibrary.org.

* Soddy-Daisy Community Library, 9619 Dayton Pike, Suite C, has released recommendations for its Epic Summer of Reading, a program open to all ages, early readers through adults, who reside in or near Hamilton County.

Participants must read a set number of books of their choice, on or above grade/reading level and complete a Summer Reading Journal. Requirements are different for each age category (grades preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and adult). Upon completion, the journals can be turned in to the library between July 19 and Aug. 13. For completing the journal, participants will earn a free Epic Summer of Reading T-shirt. The program will culminate on Sept. 18 with a pirate-themed Epic Night of Literacy and Movie in the Park, a free community event.

Go to www.kelcurtmedia.com/2021-epic-summer-of-reading.html for a printable journal and reading recommendations in multiple genres.

* Cherokee Regional Library System, which includes Dade, Chickamauga, LaFayette-Walker and Rossville libraries in North Georgia, is challenging participants to read for 21 hours this summer, about 25 minutes a day or three hours a week, during the run of the Tails and Tales program, May 31-July 18. Reading and other activities will be tracked online. Register at www.chrl.org.

* Northwest Georgia Regional Library System, which includes the Calhoun-Gordon, Chatsworth-Murray and Dalton-Whitfield libraries, is giving kids across Georgia access to free e-books through July 31 as part of Get Georgia Reading. Register at renaissance.com/getgeorgiareading.

* Clyde W. Roddy Public Library, 371 First Ave. in Dayton, Tennessee, will offer a Tails and Tales summer reading program June 1-25. Activities include crafts (for adults, young adults and kids), stuffed animal adoptions and sleepovers, drive-thrus for treats and ice cream, toddler time and virtual story hours. A closing ceremony will take place June 25 at Centennial Park. See the schedule at clydewroddy.org.

* Cleveland-Bradley County Public Library, 795 Church St. NE, is accepting registration for its Tails and Tales summer reading program. Participants can log minutes June 5-July 30. There are programs for all ages, There are weekly prize drawings, outdoor programs and science challenges, plus free books to participants up to age 17. Learn more at clevelandlibrary.org.

* Meigs Decatur Public Library, 120 E. Memorial Drive, will follow the Tails and Tales theme for its summer reading program, open to all ages. Pick up a reading log June 1-18 and commit to reading for 20 minutes for 20 days. Earn extra points at Cherokee history sessions, live and virtual animal encounters and a science show. www.meigscounty-decaturpubliclibrary.com

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

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