By April Robertson
Children and teens in Northwest Arkansas are reading book after book this summer in hopes of scoring record players, Xbox Live subscriptions, gift cards, cash, baseball tickets and books given away at the end of the month.
Summer reading programs sponsored by local libraries are nothing new, but the way they're being set up is different from the ones of the past. Gone are the days of tracking the number of books read by avid junior readers or asking all children to read the same book. Now, prizes are awarded to children who spend the most collective minutes reading.
"The really competitive kids understand that concept -- the more they read, the more times they're entered for a grand prize," said Lolly Greenwood, director of youth services at Fayetteville Public Library. "Ours is an independent reading program driven by parents and readers themselves."
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