By Alan Tristram Some 55 children put their hands up when Merilyn Bartholomew asked questions at the last session of the Paraparaumu Library Summer Reading Programme. Merylyn (right in photo) had been reading them her latest story, ‘Charlotte’s Mermaid,’ from the book ‘Shortz, Stories from Kāpiti.’ The children who completed the programme through the summer holidays all got a free book and a certificate marking their achievement. The prizes were presented by librarian Angie Salmon (right), who said the children’s reading ability was impressive. She said a total of some 100 children enrolled in the programme at the Paraparaumu Library and the other two main Kāpiti libaries at Ōtaki and Waikanae. During the summer, the children call into the libraries at least fur times to discuss what they are reading with librarians and volunteer helpers. Each time they get a small gift and their special card gets ticked to mark their progress. Over the past few years the district’s key community library group — Friends of the Kāpiti Coast Libraries — have supported the reading scheme by donating cash for books and/or providing volunteers to help with the programme.