PORTLAND, Ore. — June 10, 2015 — Multnomah County Library’s 2015 Summer Reading program begins Friday, June 12, when kids of all ages can sign up at any neighborhood library. The program entices kids to read for pleasure when school is not in session, maintaining the skills developed during the school year and encouraging lifelong library use. This year, the theme of Summer Reading is superheroes.
Through books and inventive free programs, summer readers will learn that being a superhero can mean much more than flying or fighting crime. Real life superheroes have causes like advancing education, protecting the environment or speaking up for equality.
Last year, nearly 110,000 babies, kids and teens participated — more than 70 percent of all youth in Multnomah County. This year, approximately 88,000 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 12.
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 and drawing a superhero comic, creating a heroic character, writing a story about an imaginary superpower and more.
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 means exploration and adventure,” said Youth Services Director Katie O’Dell. “Summer Reading brings those fun and positive things together, while helping kids to feel a sense of achievement that supports reading and learning.”
Summer Reading is supported by gifts to The Library Foundation.