Last year, nearly 110,000 babies, kids and teens participated — 73 percent of all youth in Multnomah County.
This year, nearly 83,000 students have already signed up through school. The library partners with seven Multnomah County school districts: Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland Public and Reynolds. Working with schools enables the library to reach students in all socioeconomic groups and reinforce the fact that summer reading is critical for school success.
The program is open to kids of all ages, from birth to high school students entering grade 12. Anyone who has not signed up through school may do so at any neighborhood library beginning June 13.
Upon signup, participants (or their parents) receive a gameboard customized for their age group: birth–preschool (also available in Spanish), grades K–6 or grades 7–12. Participants then engage in any number of literacy-building activities and track their progress on their gameboards. Activities include reading, being read to, listening to audiobooks, writing a book review, drawing a picture about a book, and attending an event at the library.
As they complete levels on their gameboards, participants earn books, free passes, restaurant coupons and other prizes. Everyone who signs up for Summer Reading is eligible for one free ticket each to a Portland Thorns and a Trail Blazers game (with purchase of adult ticket). Everyone who completes the game receives a Summer Reading T-shirt and is entered to win the grand prize drawing of a family vacation for four to Great Wolf Lodge.
“Summer is a time for fun, adventure and building lifelong memories,” said Youth Services Director Katie O’Dell. “Summer Reading allows kids to explore all of those positive things, while gaining confidence and skills that will help them in school and later in life.”
The Summer Reading program is made possible by the The Library Foundation.