The Nicholas P. Sims Library Summer Reading Program culminated Saturday with a carnival on the front lawn as a reward for its participants.

“We had 524 children to receive their certificates for completing the Summer Reading Program, and each child earned coupons throughout the summer based on how many books they read,” said Gloria Woodard, assistant director of the library. “The coupons are redeemable at our store in the library and also at the different booths at the carnival.”

Asked how many books were read by the children this summer, library director Susan Maxwell said, “They read a total of 36,324 books this summer, which amounted to a total of 504,584 pages.”

“We are in our 10th year of the Summer Reading Program,” Woodard said. “Up until this year, just a small group of children participated in reading and it was always the same ones each year.”

Woodard said they got the idea for the reward coupons and carnival when she, along with Maxwell and library assistant Debra Thompson, attended a convention and learned how the coupon incentive could inspire reading by more children.

“We are indebted to the Friends of Nicholas P. Sims Library. They raise funds and donate it to the Summer Reading Program and provide some of the booths at the carnival,” Woodard said.

“We are also grateful to the Waxahachie Fire Department for bringing a truck and crew out for the children to enjoy,” she said.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@waxahachiedailylight.com