This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community organizations we know of that are helping the community. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Para ver esta información en español, haga clic en Recursos de alimentos para familias. To see this information in Spanish, click Recursos de alimentos para familias.

Multnomah County School Districts

Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance during the summer. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below.

Centennial [updated 7/11/22]

Information on Centennial's summer meal program can be found at this link. You can also see this flyer in English/español/русский

The SUN food pantry at Parklane Elementary, 15811 SE Main St., Portland, is open Fridays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Stop by to access 3-5 days’ worth of FREE, fresh, and healthy food for your family. Please bring your own bags. No identification or income verification materials required. Anyone is welcomed to shop!

Food 4 Families will have food distribution on the second and fourth Wednesdays of June, July and August at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham, 97030. 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Click here for distribution dates.

David Douglas [updated 8/15/22]

There are summer lunches being served, Monday through Friday, at parks in the David Douglas school district through August 26th. Click here for more information.

  • Gateway Discovery Park: 10520 NE Halsey St. Meal service from 11:00 a.m. to noon
  • Lincoln Park: SE 135th and Mill St.. Lunch served from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. NOTE: this is the public park, not the elementary school.
  • Mill Park: SE 117th and Mill Ct. Meal service from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Raymond Park: SE 118th and Raymond St. Lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Ventura Park: 460 SE 113th Ave. Lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m. NOTE: this is the public park, not the elementary school.


Gresham-Barlow [updated 8/15/22]

There are food pantries at the following schools:

  • East Gresham Elementary: 900 SE 5th St., Gresham. Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • HIghland Elementary: 295 NE 24th St., Gresham. 2nd Wednesday of the month, 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


Other community food box information can be found at The Sunshine Division and Snowcap Community Charities

Parkrose [updated 7/26/22]

The SUN pantry at Shaver Elementary : 3701 NE 131st Pl. is open Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Summer meals will be served at the following sites and dates for children and teens aged 18 and younger. Meals must be consumed on-site. More information here:

  • Gateway Discovery Park: 10520 NE Halsey St. June 27th through August 26th. 11 a.m. to noon
  • Luuwit View Park: NE 127th Ave. and NE Fremont. June 27th through August 26th. 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Portland [updated 6/14/22]

From the PPS website: In partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation, daily free lunch and activities will be offered throughout the city in the 16 parks from June 21 through August 19. Lunches are free for all children in the community ages 1-18. Please note, all lunches must be eaten within the designated eating area at the park.  Grab and go meals are no longer available per USDA regulations and all children must be present to receive a lunch.  No food may be taken home.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding with this transition in rules from last year's services. Sites and times are listed below:

  • Alberta Park, 1905 NE Killingsworth St. Noon - 1pm
  • Columbia Park, 4503 N Lombard St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Cully Park, 5810 NE 72nd Ave. Noon - 1pm
  • Essex Park, 7730 SE Center St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Harrison Park, 1931 SE 84th Ave. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Holly Farm Park, 10819 SW Capitol Hwy. Noon - 1pm
  • Irving Park, 875 NE Fremont St. Noon -1pm
  • Kenton Park, 8417 N Brandon Ave. Noon - 1:30pm
  • K'hunamokwst Park, 5200 NE Alberta St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Lents Park, SE 92nd and SE Steele Noon - 1:30pm
  • McCoy Park, N Newman Ave and N Newark  Noon - 1:30pm
  • Montavilla Park, NE 82nd Ave and NE Glisan St. Noon -1:00pm
  • Mt. Scott Park, SE 72nd Ave and SE Ramona St. Noon - 1:30pm
  • Peninsula Park, 700 N Rosa Parks Way. Noon - 1:30pm
  • St. Johns Park, 8427 N Central St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Stephens Creek Crossing, 6715-6861 SW 26th Ave. 12:30pm - 1:30pm


Reynolds [updated 8/15/22]

    Food pantries are located at the following schools. Click here for more information.
    • Glenfair Elementary: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    • Reynolds High: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 2:30 p.m.
    • Alder Elementary: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Reynolds Middle: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Wilkes Elementary: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. 1st Friday of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Davis Elementary: 19501 NE Davis St. 2nd Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    • H.B. Lee Middle: 1121 NE 172nd Ave. Call 503-255-5686 for information on accessing the food pantry
    • Walt Morey Middle: 2801 SW Lucas Ave., Troutdale. Call 503-810-9604 for information on accessing the food pantry


    Agencies, Community Organizations and Restaurants

    Information may change so please check their websites if a link is provided.

    C3 Pantry (NE): 6120 NE 57th Ave., Portland. Tuesdays, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

    Crossroads Food Bank (NE): 2505 NE 102nd Ave., Portland. Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon.

    Faithful Savior Lutheran Church (NE): 11100 NE Skidmore St., Portland. Food pantry Saturday, August 20th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Mainspring Food Pantry:  They suggest following them on social media to see locations.  Their current free food pantries are located at:
    • Dawson Park, 1 N Stanton St. Every 1st Tuesday from 10am to noon
    • Victory Outreach, 16022 SE Stark St. Every 3rd Tuesday from 10am to noon
    • Kenton Church, 2115 N Lombard St. Every 4th Tuesday from 10am to noon
    • East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave. Every 2nd Wednesday from 9am to 11am
    Meals 4 Kids: serves qualified children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete a request form.
    Northeast Emergency Food Program (NE): 4800 NE 72nd Ave., Portland. Open Thursday and Saturday, 10:30am to 1:30pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
    Parkrose United Methodist Church (NE): 11111 NE Knott St., Portland. Food pantry open 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am, plus every 3rd Thursday per month from 5pm to 7pm. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.
    One Hope Food Pantry (NE): Located at 5425 NE 27th Ave., Portland 97211. Open for drive-through and pickup Saturdays, 11 am - 1 pm. Food boxes are available each week and a hot meal is served on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.
    Sunshine Division (SE):  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit or call 503.609.0285.
    William Temple House (NW): 2023 NW Hoyt St., Portland. Offering a walk-in pantry, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm. A guide to the pantry can be found here.
    Lift Urban Portland (SW):  Located at 1838 SW Jefferson St., Portland 97201. Food pantry hours of operation are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A random number lottery takes place 5 minutes before opening to determine your place in line.
    Portland Open Bible food pantry (SE):  Located at 3223 SE 92nd Ave., Portland 97266. Pick-up food boxes, information can be found here. Pantry times are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You can also place an order online.
    For more information about access to food for families including the Oregon Food Bank, please call 211, or  text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for Meals locations. or visit
    Self Enhancement Inc also has a list of community food resources that includes sites in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washingon and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Vancouver, WA area schools. Click the link and scroll down to food resources.

    Through the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can receive a monthly credit off of your internet bill. This program is funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You may also be able to receive a one time $100 credit towards a device such as a computer, laptop or tablet. The device cannot be more than $150 and will require a minimum of a $10 payment by consumer. Please reach out to library staff for more information. This credit can be received for existing or new internet customers.

    Find out if you qualify

    To qualify you have to make 200% of the federal poverty limit or less. Please refer to the income table below.

    Qualifying income levels:

    Number of people in household Income
    1 $27,180
    2 $36,620
    3 $46,060
    4 $55,500
    5 $64,940
    6 $74,380
    7 $83,820
    8 $93,260

    Visit the Affordable Connectivity Program website to learn more about qualifying. 

    You may also qualify if you or a member of your family:

    • Gets free or reduced-price school breakfast/lunch.
    • Receives SNAP benefits.
    • Received a federal Pell grant for 2021.
    • Meets other criteria.


    Apply online, pick up a paper application at any Multnomah County library, or visit or call a participating provider:

    • AT&T: 800-331-0500
    • Comcast Xfinity: 800-934-6489
    • Comcast Internet Essentials: 855-846-8376
    • Human-I-T: 888-391-7249  
    • T-Mobile: 800-866-2453
    • Verizon: 800-922-0204 
    • Ziply Fiber: 866-699-4759 

    Get help

    If you need help, visit your library or call:

    • Multnomah County Library: 503-988-5123
    • Emergency Broadband Support Center: 833-511-0311
    • Community Information Center: call 211 
    • Portland Customer Service Program: call 311

    The Mobile Library is a custom RV that is the size of a band’s tour bus! It will bring library services to neighborhoods around Multnomah County. Along with space for storytimes and programs, the Mobile Library features bookshelves to browse, computer stations, wifi access, printers with scanning and faxing abilities, AC and heat. 

    New multi-colored new mobile library

    Communities that might not have close or easy access to a library location will be among the first to be visited. With the new Mobile Library, the library is hoping to reach people who have not previously been to a library; those with mobility issues; people without access to transportation, or even those who work during regular hours of operation and need a more flexible opening schedule. Beginning next year, the Mobile Library will also help support delivery of library services in communities impacted by library closures due to renovations and expansion. 

    “This is a unique opportunity for the library to expand our reach into the community. Expanding our library services with the Mobile Library to communities that have barriers coming in is just another way we will be able to do this,” says David Lee, mobile and partner libraries manager.

    The Mobile Library will park at community centers, churches and other locations. When it visits an elementary school, kid-friendly books, games and activities will be on board. For technology classes, it will be set up with additional computers and seating.

    Several library staff members are training to drive the Mobile Library and offer classes for the community. 

    “We will be exploring ways for providing vital library services and programs out in the community. This will be in partnership with library and county staff members and community partners,” says Steph Miller, mobile librarian.

    Although the library has never had a Mobile Library with computer, printers, and wifi access in the past, the library has had a variety of bookmobiles for over 90 years. The first one in 1924 was referred to as the Rural Service Truck. This specialty Dodge truck circulated over 78,000 books every year, carrying up to 800 books and a desk at one time.

    Young patrons crowd outside a library bus several decades ago

    Iterations of the Rural Service Truck and bookmobile were continually in service until the early 2000s. 

    With the new Mobile Library, the library will be able to “bring technology and services that haven’t been possible in the past, and do so in a mobile fashion,” says David. 

    The design for the outside is based on the theme of connection. The community connecting with the library. People connecting to the internet. Readers connecting with great books. The Mobile Library will be where it all comes together — on wheels.

    “Seeing a big colorful bus hopefully brings calm to those hesitant to engage with a public institution, as well as a smile. The colorful lines converging at the door and at the logo represent the library as a connecting place. Our libraries are vibrant spaces for connection, so I wanted the Mobile Library to visually express that,” says Multnomah County Library’s Art Director, Don Bradley. 

    More information about the Mobile Library will be available on the library’s website soon. 

    When Frances Spann would come into the library for technology help, she was determined to finish writing, editing and publishing her life story. 

    With the help of Lynnea Amend, staff technology trainer, and Andrew Nilsen, bilingual Spanish tech help coordinator, Frances Spann learned new technology skills and made two new friends. 

    As a library patron, Frances shines a light onto the beauty of how library services can make an impact in someone’s life. 

    Patron Frances Spain standing by sign for Gresham Library

    Frances’s first visit to a Multnomah County Library was in 1992, at the age of 46, when The Oregonian did an interview with her about her life.

    “Before then, there was no need for me to go to the library, because I couldn't read or write,” says Frances. 

    Born in 1946 in Belzoni, Mississippi, Frances was a sharecropper's daughter. As a child she worked picking cotton with her family and was not allowed to go to school. 

    “I was deprived of getting an education because we lived on a plantation and Black people weren't allowed to send their kids to school back in the ’40s,” says Frances. 

    The plantation had several Black families working and living there. She lived there for part of her childhood until she moved to nearby Greenwood with her mother and siblings. 

    Frances tried to attend school. Her visit was cut short when as an 11 year old, she was put in a pre-kindergarten class. The school children and teachers made fun of her and she did not return. She had street smarts, and that helped her keep going. 

    It wasn't until after she married, had nine children, and made her way to Oregon, that Frances finally had an opportunity to go to school. She began with Adult Basic Education at Portland Community College.

    “I started in the classroom and tested below a third grade education. It took me eight years just to get my GED,” says Frances. 

    At this time, Frances was taking care of her children and going to school. She would stay up late doing homework and take classes while her children were in school. She credits her graduation and future success to the teachers who helped her along the way and encouraged her to keep going.

    “I got my GED and then I went to work as a caregiver, and the people that I was working for, they are the ones that inspired me to write my autobiography,” says Frances. 

    In 1996, Frances didn’t know how to use a computer, so she began to handwrite her story with a pen and paper. 

    “I didn't write every day, but I wrote whenever the urge hit me to write,” says Frances. “So as an author, to tell you the truth, it took me about 12 years, maybe 13 years in the making to finish it up.”

    It was her daughter who encouraged Frances to get a flash drive for the safekeeping of her story, and to reach out to the library.

    Many years later, in 2019, Frances stepped into the Gresham Library seeking help to use a computer so she could finish her autobiography. 

    “I wanted for my kids and grandkids to know who they’ve been dealing with all these years because they know me as a mother, grandmother, auntie and a friend, but I want to let them know that there were some obstacles for me to get to where I am. And I couldn't share it with them like I could put it in a book when I write it down. To let them know my whole life history,” says Frances.

    “They set me up with Andrew, to help me with my computer skills, but I think we had like two sessions, and then Covid hit,” says Frances. “I got disconnected from Andrew and I didn't think I would ever hear from him again.”

    Once in-person tech help resumed, Andrew called Frances to ask if she was still interested in connecting in person at the library.  

    “He said ‘are you still working on the autobiography?’ and I said ‘Yes I am,’ and then he said ‘well I have this nice lady – which is Lynnea, that would be happy to help you,” says Frances.

    Andrew set up the tech help appointment for Lynnea and Frances at Gresham Library and Frances shared her story.

    “I immediately felt so comfortable and relaxed (with Frances). Like we had just known each other and been friends for a long time. She’s just an easy person to talk to, and such a kind person,” says Lynnea.

    In a span of three months, Frances and Lynnea worked together to find an editor for the 100-page autobiography.

    “This is mainly more for my grandkids than my kids, because I couldn't tell my kids my life story. For one reason, I didn't want to poison their environment against people of another color, and I wanted them to look at people for who they were. Now, their mothers and their fathers can teach them and explain to them — the way this book is going to explain to my kids, that everyone is not the same, because a lot has happened since my generation,” says Frances. 

    Being able to put her story down on paper and having it published has been part of Frances’s life mission. Frances is working on delivering the 25 copies of her autobiography to members of her family.

    We realize it’s only July, but we’re already thinking about going back to school in the fall and how to help you do it on the cheap! Here are some tips we’ve learned over the years:

    Reuse and Recycle! 
    Before heading to the store, look around your home first to see what office and art supplies you could use for the upcoming school year. And you might not need a new backpack or lunch box, maybe last year’s just needs a good wash!

    Borrow or trade school supplies
    Ask extended family and friends if they have spare supplies you could borrow or have. Or maybe they are interested in trading extra supplies? Maybe you have a bunch of pencils and your friend has extra notebooks–a swap would be a win-win situation for both of you! This can also work for clothes, if you know folks whose kids are older and outgrown their clothes, or check your community’s Facebook/NextDoor page or neighborhood newsletter for upcoming clothing swaps!

    Buy second-hand!
    From backpacks to clothing, you can find real bargains at garage sales and thrift stores. Or check out Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace (or better yet, the Facebook Buy Nothing page) online.

    Start now!
    If you can, spread out your purchases over the summer. You don’t need to make extra trips to the store, just hit up the school supply aisle when you’re already out grocery shopping or running other errands. And be sure to check the front page of the store's circular or sales flier for items that are currently on sale! 

    And the flip side of the coin… wait!
    There are plenty of great sales to take advantage of during the back-to-school rush, but seasonal items such as fall clothing become cheaper after school starts (and they have to make way for the winter stuff). And fingers crossed, your kids won’t need that winter sweater for a little while!

    Follow your list
    School supply lists are available now for some schools in Multnomah County. Print the list and bring it with you every time you go shopping. And follow it - no need to get anything fancy that’s not on the list. Here is what we found as of the publishing of this post:

    • Centennial: We were unable to find updated supply lists on their website. Trying finding your school and looking on their individual website, usually under the “Families” or “For Parents and Students” dropdown menus.  
    • David Douglas: “Families do not need to purchase supplies over the summer. They will be provided at school.” More info here.
    • Gresham Barlow: “Gresham-Barlow School District will be supplying elementary and middle school students with any necessary school supplies. Families will still need to provide their students with backpacks. Each school will be in contact with families regarding other school-specific details before the start of the school year.” More info here.
    • Parkrose: You will need to go into each school’s page to find their supply list. Once at your school’s page, look under the Student’s drop down menu for the supply list (if it has been made available). 
    • Portland Public Schools: Some schools provide supplies for free; unfortunately, each school is different. For the most part, find your school and look under the 'Our School' menu. Sometimes supply lists are linked directly from there. You can also try using the search feature (top right of page) and type in your school’s name and the word “supply”. 
    • Reynolds: Reynolds is on top of things and has one page with all the supplies needed!
    • Riverdale: Select your school and check the website.

    And definitely contact your school directly if you need help with getting supplies; they will help.

    Do you have ideas we didn’t share here? Please let us know in the comments below! 

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at with any questions.

    There are many horrific stories in the news about mass shootings, war, racism, environmental disasters and other tragedies. Even if kids aren’t specifically watching or listening to the news, they hear about these stories and can rightfully feel scared and anxious. And it’s important, as adults, that we be open to having discussions with kids about these tragic events. Thankfully, lots of very smart people have been giving tips on how to have these difficult conversations and we’ve listed some of them here to help. We are also including a reading list that may help. 

    How to Talk With Kids About Tragedies & Other Traumatic News Events from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
    In this article, the AAP encourages families to filter information about the event and present it in a way that their child can understand and handle in a healthy way. Tips are broken down by age, while taking into consideration development delays and neurodiversity.

    Disaster: Helping Children Cope from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) 
    For families who have been through a disaster, this article speaks to behavioral changes you may note in your children and links to further resources.

    How to Talk to Children About School Shootings from the Stanford Children’s Health
    Written after the Uvalde school shooting, this short article speaks directly to children’s fears around this topic, and includes signs that a child may need additional help, as well as how adults can help manage their own anxiety and stress.

    How to Talk to Your Kids About School Shootings from Scholastic Parents
    We like this article not only because it gives age-appropriate and helpful strategies for having conversations on this very difficult topic with your kids, but also because it brings up the power of “allowing children to be active and involved as a way of alleviating some of their fears.”

    How to Help Children Manage Fears from the Child Mind Institute
    One of our favorite resources, this Child Mind Institute article is more generally about children’s fears, no matter what they may be, and how to help them learn to manage them.

    15 Tips for Talking with Children about Violence from ¡Colorín Colorado! 
    This bilingual site offers practical steps for talking with young children to teens. It includes admitting that adults don’t have all the answers and also feel sad, but that we are here. While the main site is in English and Spanish, a tip sheet is available in several more languages.

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at with any questions.

    Mom and child reading at a library

    For families looking for a welcoming space for children on the autism spectrum or those that would like a more adaptive storytime experience, Sensory Storytime is an inclusive and interactive program. 

    Sensory Storytime is a weekly online event supporting neurodiverse families. Children get a chance to have fun with the library while staying at home in a safe and predictable place. 

    “My kids are on the autism spectrum, and the pandemic meant they were completely out of their regular therapies for a long time. The Sensory Storytime was a lifeline during those times, and continues to be. They practice turn-taking, and the activities are super fun and engaging!” says Carmem, a Storytime parent. 

    Children with sensory processing differences may have a tough time coming to the library due to sounds, lighting or other stimuli. The way that each child reacts to new spaces and interactions can be completely different, and there is not a one size fits all approach. 

    “We have really valued all of the virtual options for learning that allow my child to be in her own space, but also be exposed to other children… activities as simple as finger drawing in salt in a tray help me (as a parent) think of simple, creative, engaging activities to keep us all busy,” says Taylor, another Storytime parent. 

    Prior to the pandemic, Sensory Storytime was offered in person, and attendance was relatively low. In 2020, all events and programs switched to online. More families began to join in this storytime. 

    “When Covid pushed storytimes online, we had the pleasant surprise that our reach to this community grew. Rather than the handful of families coming to in-person storytime, our Zoom storytimes often have as many as 50 families that register in a given session, and some families have been with us since the pandemic started,” says Kri Schlafer, bilingual library assistant. 

    During each session of Sensory Storytime the instructors, Kri and Karen, show the children a visual schedule. They refer to the schedule throughout the storytime to help participants track what's happening in storytime, and what they will be doing next. As part of the schedule, they take time to say hello, sing, stretch and move, and read a couple of stories together. The storytime ends with a sensory activity, a rhyme, and saying goodbye. 

    The library provides all program supplies not commonly found at home. Families can pick activity kits up at their local library branch or request that kits be mailed directly to their homes.

    “Every week is full of songs, stories and an activity based on that week’s theme. It is all age group appropriate, but also manages to be inclusive for children with different needs and abilities. Finding activities that my son (with expressive language disorder) can participate in has been daunting, but this has been the perfect fit for us,” says Grace, a Storytime parent.

    Sensory Storytime is one of several resources assisting with accessibility needs. Every library is equipped with a Sensory Accommodation Kit. These kits provide tools to help with background noises and other distractions. Kits can include a wiggle cushion, fidgets, and other items. In addition, patrons can request a free set of headphones at any library location.

    For a sensory learning experience, families can find interactive learning and play structures in the children’s section of several libraries. 

    With the upcoming Library Capital Bond project, there will be more changes to spaces to better accommodate neurodiverse people— like the sensory room that will be added to the updated Midland library. 

    Through the bond work, library spaces will be updated to better reflect the needs of the community. Long gone is the idea that the library has to be a quiet space, but rather it is meant to be a community space for all to feel welcome.

    Registration is now open for the Sensory Storytime summer session (July 12-August 23). And, if you want to enjoy storytime, but can’t make it live, take a look at the library’s Sensory Storytime videos. Welcome to the library!

    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.

    Child holding books and library card

    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

    Five kids running on grass

    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.

    Two teens in front of 3-D printer at Rockwood Makerspace

    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.

    What is Dyslexia?

    Dyslexia is a neurological difference often characterized by difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. It may run in the families and cannot be “cured.” Individuals with this condition must learn coping strategies.

    Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. With the right instruction, almost all individuals with dyslexia can learn to read.  A multi-sensory, phonics based approach is often the best way to help kids learn to read. The Orton-Gillingham, Barton System and/or Lindamood-Bell programs are well known programs that work.

    This great Ted-Ed talk provides an overview of dyslexia.

    What should I look for?

    Decoding Dyslexia offers these early signs of dyslexia:

    • Late speech (3 years or later)
    • Mixing up sounds in multi-syllable words (e.g. bisghetti, aminal, mazageen)
    • Inability to rhyme by age 4
    • Difficulty with substitutions, omissions and deletions
    • Unusual pencil grip
    • Difficulty remembering rote facts (months of the year, days of the week)
    • Confusion of left vs. right  

    One of the biggest challenges of dyslexia is counteracting shame caused by teasing and misunderstanding. Children are often teased because they can’t read as well as others. Teachers may say things like “she’s a slow reader” in front of the child or parents. Kids know what “slow” means and they often grow up believing they are “stupid” and/or “lazy.”

    Headstrong Nation’s Learn the Facts wants you to know the facts, help your child recognize her/his strengths and weaknesses, learn how to talk about it with trusted friends and family and eventually, be comfortable sharing one’s real self with the world.

    Dyslexia Assessment in Multnomah County

    Oregon Senate Bills 612 and 1003 require school districts to universally screen for risk factors of dyslexia in kindergarten. The Oregon Department of Education provides guidance and training for districts and educators. If you or your child aren't in school or you feel the school is missing something, here are a few of the many assessment and intervention providers in the County.

    The Blosser Center - Accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the Blosser Center provides assessment, tutoring and teacher training.

    Language Skills Therapy - Provides assessment and tutoring

    New Leaves Clinic - Provides assessment and treatment in Hillsboro, Oregon

    PDX Reading Specialist, LLC​ - Provides assessment, tutoring, advocacy and professional development

    How the library can help

    There are three valid types of reading: with your eyes (print & video), with your ears (audiobooks), and with your fingers (Braille).  


    Typically easier for someone with dyslexia, the library has thousands of audiobooks on CD and in downloadable formats for people who read with their ears. Library information staff can help you find and use audiobooks.

    DVD/Blu-ray and streaming

    The library has thousands of DVDs, Blu-ray and downloadable films for people who read with eyes and ears. Library information staff can help you find and use these media.


    E-books are available to borrow through OverDrive to read on your desktop or with the Libby app. Accessibility options include using screen readers, changing text size, turning on dyslexic font, reading in sepia or night mode, and more. When searching for a subject, you can also look for the format "OverDrive Read-along" which provides narration that plays along while you read. The OverDrive help page explains how to find these read-along books and library staff can help as well.

    Additional resources

    Bookshare e-books have functions for people with print disabilities, including low vision, dyslexia and the inability to hold a physical book. Adults with a library card can get free access through the library. Students can get access through their school.

    The Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library is free for any Oregonian with a print-disability including dyslexia or dysphasia.

    This Pride Month, the library is recognizing the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities. Through the sharing of their own experiences, talents and advocacy, they’ve become influential voices for our time.

    1) Darcelle XV (he/him) also known as Walter W. Cole, is a drag queen performer, entertainer, and cabaret owner in Portland. His memoir Just Call Me Darcelle shares stories from his past and present as Oregon’s most celebrated female impersonator. 

    Darcelle XV

    2) Charlie Amáyá Scott (they/she) is a writer, academic/ PhD candidate, social media influencer and activist from the central part of the Navajo Nation. Through their blog, Diné Aesthetic(s), Charlie develops educational resources on Indigenous Feminism.

    3) Ocean Vuong (he/him) is an award-winning poet, essay and novel writer. His 2019 debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, is a letter from a son to a mother covering topics of race, class, and masculinity.

    Ocean Vuong

    4) Carmen Maria Machado (she/her) is a short story author, essayist, and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, In the Dream House, dives into history of abuse in relationships and specifically between lesbian partners. 

    Carmen Maria Machado

    5) Lil Nas X (he/him) is the first openly gay Black music artist to win a Country Music Association award and Grammy Award. In 2021 he was awarded the Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award for his commitment to supporting young LGBTQ+ people struggling with thoughts of suicide. 

    Little Nas X

    6) Traci Carr (they/she) is an activist based in Los Angeles, focusing on Black activism and intersectionality for being Queer and Black. Traci organizes direct action protests for causes such as Black Women Periodt, Free Eman, and Trans Joy Day. She is also the creator and host of the upcoming series Superpower to the People, in development for streaming.

    7) Jazz Jennings (she/her) is an activist, YouTube personality, and the co-founder of TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation. She has written two books (I Am Jazz! and Being Jazz) about acceptance and her life experience.

    Jazz Jennings

    8) Edgar Gomez (he/him) is a femme-queer-Latinx man of Nicaraguan and Puerto Rican descent. His debut memoir High-Risk Homosexual is about his life experience as a gay man in an anti-gay space and machismo culture.

    9) Darcie Little Barger (she/her) is an earth scientist and science fiction, horror, and fantasy author. Her novel Elatsoe features an asexual Lipan Apache teenager and was a YA (Young Adult) bestseller.

    10) Billie Jean King (she/her) is a world-renowned tennis player and champion who won 39 Grand Slam titles. She fought for equal pay and rights for female and male athletes. Beloved in her home city of Long Beach, California, where she was born and raised, the local Long Beach library is named the Billie Jean King Main Library.

    Billie Jean King

    11) Qwo-Li Driskill (they/them) is a poet, scholar, activist, and assistant professor at Oregon State University. Their book, Asegi Stories, provides insight into Cherokee cultural memories of same-sex relationships and nonbinary gender systems. 

    12) Julie Sondra Decker (she/her) is a YouTuber and writer most well known for her work on asexuality through her book The Invisible Orientation.

    13) Geo Socomah Neptune (they/she) is a nonbinary Two-Spirit member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, a master basketmaker, educator, activist, and the first openly transgender elected offical in Maine. Learn the history of the term two-spirit in this video with Geo and Them.

    14) Kosoko Jackson (he/him) is an author of short stories, essays, and novels featuring Black and Queer youth. His newest book, I’m So (not) Over You, is a romantic comedy about a young couple.

    15) Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is an Oji-nêhiyaw Two-Spirit queer otâcimow from Peguis First Nation. An author, professor, and PhD candidate who helped create and uplift Indigiqueer through his writing, including Jonny Appleseed and Full Metal Indigiqueer.


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