Need an incentive to encourage your child to read over summer break? The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and KY Saves 529 is offering four $1,000 prizes to be put toward a college savings account through its “Go Wild! College Savings Summer Reading Sweepstakes,” which launched earlier this week.

Participants must be signed up for the summer reading program through their local library in order to be entered into the sweepstakes.

Registration for Paul Sawyier Public Library’s summer reading program, “Hometown Adventures — Don’t pack your bags,” which runs until July 31, can be completed at https://pspl.beanstack.org/reader365. For more information, visit pspl.org or call 502-352-2665.

Once local library registration is complete, parents and guardians can fill out an entry form for the sweepstakes at http://kysaves.com/gowild.

The “Go Wild! College Savings Summer Reading Sweepstakes” is open to Kentucky youth 18 and younger and ends on Aug. 13. A drawing will be held to determine the winners. In addition to the $1,000 college savings accounts, each winner’s local library will receive $500 to be used to fund reading programs in the future.

“As an educator and parent, I encourage every parent to get their children involved in their local public library’s summer reading program because students can lose valuable academic skills if their brains take a summer vacation from learning,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who is also the secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Summer learning loss — concerns about students losing ground academically during break — are quite real, according to a recently published study in American Educational Research Journal, which found that the average student in grades 1-8 lose between 17-34% of the prior year’s gain over summer break.

Of the more than 1 million children under 18 in Kentucky, only about 200,000 participate in the free summer reading programs offered at local libraries. That number should definitely be higher and with the latest financial incentive families really have no reason not to pick up a book this summer.

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