Philadelphia Free Library Summer Program Motivates Kids to Read


The Free Library of Philadelphia kicked off its Summer of Wonder series in style Thursday with an event that included special guests and fun activities. Third graders from three different Philadelphia elementary schools came to the library to learn about its special summer reading program.

The Summer of Wonder helps kids keep their minds active during their break from school. It encourages them to continue to read books through the summer and provides fun activities at neighborhood libraries. Free Library President and Director Siobhan Reardon started off the program by taking a pledge with the children to read at least six books during the Summer of Wonder, which lasts from June 11 to August 3. She then introduced a special guest, Mayor Jim Kenney.

"Summer is a great time for you to explore your interests and develop a love for reading by choosing the books that are most exciting to you, and the library has thousands of books to choose from," Kenney said. 

The kids then got to participate in a variety of activities set up around the library including a scavenger hunt that allowed them to explore the library while learning about its history and what it has to offer. One of the event's sponsors, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, also set up an art station for the children, letting them create scenes from their favorite books using crayons and ink.

Finally, Kenney read Todd Parr's Be Who You Are to the kids, a book that encourages children to be proud of themselves, whether it be what they look like or where they come from.

The Free Library will continue to hold reading events and other learning activities through the summer. Kids can join the fun by visiting their local library or going online and receiving reading passport cards that help them keep track of their progress. 

More information can be found here.

Summer Reading Resources

Here are some other ways to get your kids reading this summer:

The Horn Book Summer Reading List

Reading and Writing Contests and Summer Enrichment Programs in Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware

Ways to Read to a Preschooler to Get Him Engaged

How a Delaware Woman Went from Reluctant Reader to Children's Book Author

Ben Lowenthal is a MetroKids intern and student at Temple University.


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