The Summer Reading program is about more than reading. It is about building a love for learning with fun things to do for all ages.
A young child pointing out words in a picture book. An older kid cooking and baking. A teen studying for their driver license. These are just a few of the ways to join in Summer Reading.
Early childhood: ages 0-4
Summer Reading before you can read? Yes! Reading to babies and toddlers to help them develop a reading habit. They can also count letters, scribble, sing, and play games. Babies born during the summer months can start playing Summer Reading right away! Explore fun stories and songs by joining a storytime online or outdoors this summer.
Kindergarten - grade 5
Children can participate by listening to an audiobook, playing games and even creating games! Going outside, gardening, looking at bugs and exploring the world around them can make kids curious to learn more. Playing sports or team games helps to build skills for cooperating and planning with others.
"It's important to think outside the books so that Summer Reading is relevant and accessible to people of all cultures, abilities, interests, and learning styles," says Keli Yeats, youth librarian.
Cooking and baking is also an opportunity for children of all ages, teens and adults to participate in Summer Reading. When cooking and baking, kids can read recipes and practice math and science. Check out an e-cookbook! Make recipes based on a book or story: Arab Fairy Tale Feasts, The Manga Cookbook, The Pokémon Cookbook. You can listen to local music through the Library Music Project while you work together to make a delicious meal.
“Other things that you can do to participate that promote learning outside of reading include: writing your own story, writing a poem, or creating your own game, making art or exploring a new language . . . All of those are different activities that we encourage youth to do throughout the summer months to participate in this game and promote learning,” says Bryan Fearn, community learning manager.
Middle school and high school
Teens may think reading is the only option for participating in Summer Reading. Not so! If toddlers can participate through play, why shouldn’t teens and adults?
Try tabletop or video role playing games. Teens can learn history and practice storytelling. There can be a lot of reading and math in character development and game rules. Teamwork in these games builds the same skills as physical sports.
Other ways teens can stay involved in Summer Reading is by learning to be good digital citizens online and through social media. Everyday rules in our day to day lives don't always translate to those in the digital space, so learning how to seek good online spaces, research information for accuracy, and checking community guidelines can make a big difference.
“This gets to the point of Summer Reading. It’s not just about reading books. It’s about preparing youth and teens to go out and navigate the world as adults,” says Keli Yeats, youth librarian.
At the Rockwood Makerspace, teens can learn how to use new technology or create independent art projects. It’s a great way to build digital skills and confidence.
Summer Reading is supported by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.
Adults can play a Summer Reading game too with the Read 4 Life game. Through Hoopla, adults can browse a collection of digital comics, play music, or even check out movies. See the library’s events page for classes for job seekers, computer help, and more.
Read 4 Life is sponsored by The Friends of the Library.