Themed “Make a Splash,” Santa Monica Public Library’s Summer Reading Program saw significant increases in participation over previous years for the 10-week program designed to raise literacy skills in children and teens over the summer months.

This year, 2,917 participants read about 1,164,600 minutes, a 34 percent increase from last year.

Completion rates also jumped 20 percent, and participants read 23 percent more hours, city officials said.

City officials attribute the higher statistics to a popular theme, incentives and stronger outreach efforts in local schools.

The library offered more than 300 story times and other reading-related programs, such as a reading club for parents and their babies, a six-week writers’ workshop for teens and a pizza party to celebrate reading achievements.

Twenty-three teen volunteers helped provide 254 hours of administrative support to help run the program.

In 2009, SMPL was ranked at the top of the number of attendees for summer programs for children and teens compared to other cities of similar sizes in Los Angeles County, according to the Southern California Library Cooperative, an association of libraries in the greater Los Angeles area.

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