Delaware’s first lady Tracey Quillen Carney will kick off the statewide 2019 Summer Library Reading Program, “A Universe of Stories,” with events set for 1 p.m. June 7 at Delmar Public Library, 101 N. Bi State Blvd.; and at 3 p.m. June 7 at New Castle Public Library, 424 Delaware St.

Carney will be joined by special guest ventriloquist Uncle Ty-Rone the Kids’ Comedian.

“Promoting early literacy and school readiness is a critical part of giving all of Delaware’s children a ‘first chance’ to succeed,” said Carney. “The library habit is about literacy, as well as parent-child engagement and access to other services that support strong and healthy families. To support our families and a first chance for all of our children, I encourage every Delawarean to get and use a Delaware library card.”

Delaware libraries are noted for hosting the longest running statewide public library summer reading program in the nation. In its 41st year, the annual Summer Library Reading Program provides early literacy programs to help children build and develop reading and language skills; teen programs that motivate teens to read and discuss literature; and programs that encourage adults to experience the joy of reading.

“Librarians help to generate a passion for reading and learning,” said Gov. John Carney. “A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires, encourages creativity and prevents the summer slide.”

“For more than 40 years — for generations of Delawareans — Delaware libraries have been cultivating reading and learning passions,” said State Librarian Annie Norman. “Whatever your interest, whatever your talent, the library supports it.”

Young “pre-readers” — children who can’t read yet — can get credit for books that are read to them. Throughout the summer, libraries provide a variety of fun and educational arts, cultural and STEM programs to encourage reading and spark curiosity.

Registration for the Summer Library Reading Program is free in-person at all public libraries or at lib.de.us/programs/summerreading. Incentive prizes are awarded based on reading and activity milestones. Delaware libraries encourage Delawareans of all ages to track their reading and learning during the summer and throughout life. A variety of tips, tools and techniques for tracking individual interests are available on the “Unleash Inner Genius” guide, available at bit.ly/2QJhHEc.

For a full schedule and more, visit lib.de.us/programs/summerreading.