Mid-Continent Public Library's annual Summer Learning Program started this week, and for the first time this year parents and adults can join the program.

Public Relations Coordinator Emily Brown and Lisa Campbell, coordinator of MCPL's mobile Reading Rocket, said the opening the program up for adults is about setting a good example for younger readers.

“As any librarian or any educator can tell you, children who grow up in a culture of reading and see adults practicing reading, they're the ones more likely to pick up and start reading,” Campbell said.

Through July 31, kids and teens have the opportunity to accumulate points to earn books and the chance to win prizes. The can earn points in three ways: attending special MCPL programs, educational activities at home and, of course, reading.

As the theme for the Summer Learning Program is “Libraries Rock,” MCPL has scheduled a number of music-themed events to earn program points. Those include “Mad Science and the Sounds of Summer,” “Rock the Library with Mr. Stinky Feet” featuring Jim Cosgrove, “Rapping About Reptiles” and “Amado's World Music Odyssey.” A full list of program dates, times and locations can be found at mymcpl.org/FUN.

Kids and teens earn points by logging their participation on their online accounts, which will be entered to win prizes such as a Kindle Fire or iPod Touch or prizes from the Chiefs, Royals, Kansas City Ballet, Worlds of Fun and the Kansas City Symphony.

Adults who participate in the Summer Learning Program and read at least 1,000 minutes will receive a certificate for “Libraries Rock!” tote bag and will be entered to win prizes, including tickets to concerts from KC 102.1, a Chiefs preseason game and more.

Campbell said the initial feedback has been positive, as the library strives to promote continual literacy for adults – not just children between school years.

“People have asked a lot of questions,” she said. “In the past, they would say, 'This is great; I wish I could participate.'

“It's open to any adult, not just parents.”

Kansas City Public Library's summer reading program begins Friday. The library has local branches in Independence on 23rd Street (Trails West Branch) and in Sugar Creek on Sterling Avenue.

The library has a new kid-friendly online platform called Kids Kanopy (kclibrary.kanopy.com/kids), which offers suggestions for informational and inspirational films and TV series.