This year’s program gets underway with a big change for young readers and their families. Effective June 15, 2016, the library will no longer charge late fines for youth materials or for cardholders younger than 18. The library will forgive existing youth late fines. Replacement fees remain in place for all unreturned materials (read more).
The library’s Summer Reading 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. Last year, approximately 110,000 babies, kids and teens participated.
This year, over 85,000 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 across Multnomah County 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 17. This year’s theme is wellness, sports and fitness.
Upon sign-up, 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, attending a library event or writing about their favorite way to get moving.
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, Timbers 2 (T2), Portland Pickles, 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 Reading is supported by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.