MORE THAN BOOKS AND BUILDINGS
A single summer without reading can impact a child for life. Over multiple summers, this loss of reading skill will cause a child to fall further and further behind their peers. One simple act — reading in summer — can advance a child’s reading level and protect the skills they work so hard to build during the school year.
Summer Reading is designed as a fun and challenging game, but really, it's serious business. Studies show that library summer reading programs stop this summer slide in its tracks. Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program is among the nation’s most far-reaching and successful. It is proven to boost a child’s time spent reading, allowing every child the opportunity to return to school with the skills they need to succeed.
Summer Reading 2023 engaged 104,000 children — 70% of all babies, kids, and teens in the county. Skilled outreach specialists brought books directly to families who face the toughest literacy risks, setting up pop-up libraries in public parks, housing developments, migrant camps, and free lunch sites to connect with children and parents.
Summer Reading also offers a life-changing opportunity for teens. During the summer of 2023 more than 496 teen volunteers had the chance to work side-by-side with librarians to gain work experience that enhanced college and job applications. Teens greeted young readers, helped them select books and learned about customer service from librarians.
Summer Reading wouldn't be possible without the support of donors, community business partners, and foundations who support this wildly successful program.