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RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA

Cheryl Wilson knelt beside her daughter Hannah as the 5-year-old plucked books from the library shelves: “A Day with Frog and Toad,” “A Buzz is a Part of the Bee” and two Dr. Seuss books.

School’s out for the summer, but Hannah and thousands of other children at the Rancho Santa Margarita Library aren’t letting their reading skills idle.

They’ve signed up for the library’s free summer reading program, which rewards voracious young readers with prizes.

About 3,000 children are expected to participate, said children’s librarian Joanne Rode.

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Youngsters must check out books at their reading level and hold them at least overnight. The daily rewards are mostly trinkets--pencils, finger puppets and whistles--but children do have a chance to win one of 20 larger prizes, including Magic Mountain tickets, Barbie dolls and remote-control cars, in a grand prize drawing at the end of summer.


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