Today is the final day to sign up and participate in the B.B. Comer Memorial Library’s summer reading club.

“We want to remind people there is still time to participate in the summer reading club and to attend our final programs next week,” children’s librarian Mandi Cantrell said.

Children who sign up by today have until Friday, July 25, to submit entries for grand prize drawings. For every 15 “easy” books or six “juvenile” books the child reads, they will receive one entry for the grand prize drawings.

“We have six grand prizes this year,” Cantrell said. “The children have a chance to win a remote-controlled robot, K’Nex model building set, magnetic building set, Android family tablet, bubble machine or Lego Princess Cinderella’s Castle.”

Cantrell said prizes are awarded Saturday, July 26.

“We also have our final programs at 10 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the auditorium,” she said. “On Monday, we are very excited to have the Hampstead Stage Company presenting ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ They are from New Hampshire and are touring this area of the country. We’ve heard great things about them.”

Cantrell said the Monday and Wednesday programs are open to children of all ages. The Tuesday Blue Bell Summertime Stories program is open to children ages 3 to 5 and will feature a story and activities.

“On Wednesday, we will have Comedy with Sound Effects by Prof. Zounds, who uses improvisation and interactive storytelling,” she said. “The programs are all free to attend. You don’t need to sign up — just show up.”

Cantrell said programs and the summer reading club help children keep up with their reading during the summer.

“VOICES for Alabama’s Children calls it ‘summer learning loss,’ which is the loss of academic knowledge and skills during summer vacation,” she said. “Students can lose grade level equivalency in math and reading. If students fall consistently behind due to summer learning loss throughout their elementary school years, they could wind up two and a half years behind their peers by the end of fifth grade.”

Cantrell said summer reading programs and clubs play an important role in helping narrow that gap.

“Our mission is ‘To Educate, Enrich, and Entertain,’” she said.

Contact Elsie Hodnett at