Library Summer Reading Programs Create Fun, Hands-On Learning Opportunities

readingImage by Jill Wellington

HARRISBURG, PA — In an effort to support literacy and highlight learning opportunities over the summer months, the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL) is encouraging families and communities to participate in summer reading programs through their local libraries.

“Library summer reading programs help readers of all ages connect with others, expand their imaginations, explore new ideas, and learn new things,” said Acting Deputy Secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Susan Banks. “Summer reading programs also offer hands-on activities that children and families can participate in individually or as a unit, and help connect interests to learning resources, build literacy, and strengthen their love of reading.”

Many libraries in Pennsylvania coordinate summer reading initiatives utilizing the Collaborative Summer Library Program and incorporate their resources, activities, and guides into their efforts. In celebration of animals, this year’s official theme is Tails and Tales. Summer reading programs often include a variety of individual and family activities, such as in-person and virtual events, scavenger hunts, story walks, craft-making, storytelling and writing, contests, giveaways, and more. Visit your local library in-person or online for official information on the summer reading programs being coordinated.

Looking for a few good books to read this summer? The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association sponsors the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards, which recognizes children’s and young adult literature. Access lists of winning and nominated booksThe American Library Association also offers several summer reading lists to help keep kids engaged in reading throughout the summer.

In addition to supporting literacy, many libraries serve as Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites. Also known as the Summer Meals Program, SFSP is a federally-funded, state-administered program established to ensure kids continue to have access to nutritious meals when school is not in session.

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For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, visit PDE’s website

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