WATERBURY CENTER, Vt. — A group is hoping to bolster reading among low-income children in New Hampshire and Vermont this summer with a program that includes free books and dozens of storytellers.

The Children’s Literacy Foundation Summer Readers said it expects to reach 8,000 children at 140 events in more than 100 towns in the two states including at Green Mountain Camp for girls in Dummerston, Vermont and Camp Mayhew in Bristol, New Hampshire. Among those reading will be author/illustrators, poets and graphic novelists.

The goal of the project is to get youngsters excited about reading and writing while helping avoid what the group calls the “summer slide.” That is a time when reading skills, especially among low-income children, suffer since they lack reading material and guided reading time in the home.