NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The New York Public Library has done the math. There are 140,000 kids who owe fines.

WCBS 880’s Steve Knight On The Story

“It’s a serious chunk of change,” says the library’s Jack Martin.

But, Martin says the real cost to the kids whose cards are blocked isn’t the money, it’s not being able to check out books over the summer.

“If they don’t read over the summer, they actually lose a percentage of the literary skills they’ve earned during the school years,” he told WCBS 880’s Steve Knight.

Kids can now have those fines forgiven by signing up for the summer amnesty program.

Sign up on the web, check in at a library, set a summer reading goal and, for every 15 minutes of reading, a dollar is knocked off the bill.

“You don’t have to be afraid, you can walk into the library, you can say, ‘I want to read down here with my fines,’ and at the end of the summer you will not have any library fines left,” Martin told 1010 WINS.

While a child is “reading down” what is owed, he or she has full access to library and all of its programs.

Martin says that’s the real goal.

For more information about the program, click HERE.

What do you think of the program? Sound off below…

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