MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Sixty-seven children received recognition Sept. 9 for participating in the Base Library Summer Reading Club program during a ceremony held at the Crossroad restaurant. The program opened when librarian Amos Tookes welcomed parents and guests, and explained what the summer reading program was all about. According to Tookes, the reading program was started as a way to promote reading and to encourage children to invest in knowledge during the summer vacation. As an added incentive this year, children were offered trophies if they read a certain number of books at their grade level. The children had to read 40 books to qualify for a trophy, said Tookes. Prior to trophies, we had only three or four children reading more than 40 books. We have 20 who met or exceeded the 40-book standard [this year], Tookes said. Steve Banks of Marine Corps Community Services here, introduced Maj. Gen. Paul M. Lee Jr., director of Marine Corps Materiel Command and guest speaker during the library ceremony. Lee emphasized the important role that reading plays in the development of successful leaders of tomorrow. He thanked the parents of the children who were involved in the program for their support and efforts to better educate their children through knowledge of the written word. He told the children that with the foundation they were laying with the time they were spending in books and learning rather than watching television or playing video games, they were sure to be successful. Lee gave the example of retired Army Gen. Colin Powell, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, whom the ability to read not only changed his life, but also created a remarkable leader. Lee then personally handed out awards and certificates to each child who was present. The program was especially important to Lee, he said, because reading played a very important role in his life and his family, but especially in the lives of his children. Lees daughter won the summer reading program in 1989. One child took the challenge to heart and surpassed the requirements. Stephanie Galicia, 8-year-old daughter of Lance Cpl. Russell and Dawn Hardy, natives of Columbus, Ga., read 237 books over her summer break for the reading competition. Hardy was commended by being named the MCLB Albany Summer Reading Club Super-Outstanding Reader reading over 200 books. In conclusion, Lee challenged the children to be faithful to the skills and habits they started this summer in the reading club program. This years top finishers were: ages 4-6; Keyona Allen, Craig Wilson, Lionel Blackman Jr., Michael Fonteno, Jazmyn Boone, ages 7-9; Terrelle Lowe, Robert Adams, Calisha Allen, Antonyo Wilson, ages 10-12; Donald Lowe, Keshia Lowe, Faith Edwards and Jerry Varela.