Summer Reading is a program that entices children to read when school is not in session and encourages them to become lifelong library users. Research shows that the reading skills a student gains during the school year are lost if he or she does not read during the summer. Over 110,000 babies, children and teens registered for the Summer Reading program in 2012, making it one of the largest in the nation. Seventy-three percent (73%) of all youth in Multnomah County participated in the program.
This program reaches children from birth through age 18. Parents and children track reading progress using a game that challenges any level reader. Summer Reading works by encouraging children to set goals, choose books, and reach reading milestones with the help of their parents or with library staff or volunteers. The program relies on the work of more than 690 volunteers each year – a majority of whom are teenagers.
Recent research by Jimmy Kim at Harvard University proves that reading over the summer is essential to maintaining literacy gains made during the school year. Findings by literacy experts also show that independent, self-directed reading – reading done outside of school assignments solely because the child wants to – is vital to the development of a child's literacy skills. Summer Reading provides just that kind of skill-building experience.
The Summer Reading program has grown tenfold since The Library Foundation began supporting the program's expansion with private funds. For more information on supporting Summer Reading, contact firstname.lastname@example.org