For the second year in a row, Hollister Elementary School students will be able to take home books during the summer.

Having the summer reading program open for students allows them to keep up their reading levels, rather than fall behind should they go an entire summer without having the opportunity to get a book, said former Elementary Principal Sandy Leech.

“In order to get new books, you (students) bring back any book you want to trade,” Leech said.

Leech, who will be the Director of Teaching and Learning at the start of the next school year, said about 150 students took advantage of the reading program last summer.

“This year, we’ve brought the kindergarten and first-grade classes through as well,” Leech said. “We’re expanding it.”

Third-graders Alina Shepard and Madysin Martino were excited to return to the summer reading program for a second year.

Martino is looking forward to reading more fairy tales.

“We can read it to our cousins or sisters,” she said.

Shepard — who loves mysteries — said she hopes to read at least nine books this summer.

Students are encouraged to choose a book that’s just right for them, Leech said, that includes seeing how many words they can read on a page, and is the book too hard or too easy.

The summer reading program has three upcoming events for parents to bring their children to. Each student may participate in logging how many hours they’ve read to also receive a prize.

“Reading is really, really important over the summer,” Leech said.

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