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updated: 5/21/2014 4:22 PM

Glen Ellyn reading program benefits Willowbrook Wildlife Center

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By Safiya Merchant
smerchant@dailyherald.com

Participants in the Glen Ellyn Public Library's summer reading program will get the chance to help a furry or feathered friend in need.

The program, dubbed Read to Rescue, began May 12 and will continue through Aug. 11. If adult participants read a total of 6,000 books and the youth department logs a cumulative 70,000 hours of reading, Friends of the Library will make a donation to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, officials said.

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Adult participants include adults, teens and staff members, Programming Librarian Amy Franco said.

The donated funds will support 60 weeks of care for an injured or orphaned animal at Willowbrook, 525 S. Park Blvd., in Glen Ellyn. The center offers assistance to injured and orphaned wildlife, as well as educational programs.

Franco said the center was chosen because the library has partnered with it before, it is located in Glen Ellyn and "we felt like this was an important issue to a lot of people in the community."

As of May 21, youth participants in the program had read for a total of 105 hours, she said. Adults, teens and staff members have read 184 books.

Sandy Fejt, education site manager at Willowbrook, said the center will host programs at the library as part of the initiative, with one on June 14 focusing on birds of prey.

"This (partnership) is a way for us to kind of get the word out to people in Glen Ellyn who may not know that we're here," Fejt said.

She said Willowbrook serves as a resource for residents who find injured or orphaned animals but also provides a place for people to relax and enjoy the wildlife exhibits.

"Their donation actually helps us continue support for the animals in our care," she said.

Last year, the library's reading program benefitted the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry.

To participate in the summer program, adults must have a Glen Ellyn library card and teens and children must be attending a school in Glen Ellyn, Franco said.

Teens also can receive "book credits" by writing book reviews and sending tweets to @GEPLTeenScene about their books.

Registration is still open.

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