Summer Reading at New York Libraries logoand the Common Core

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Public library summer reading programs foster a community of inquiry and literacy that leads to high academic achievement, independent reading and learning, and collaborative efforts that last a lifetime. Experts in the fields of child brain development and reading research agree that literacy skills develop early and are strengthened when children read during the summer months.

Public library summer reading programs expose children, birth through age 18, to a wealth of informational and recreational reading, and opportunities to gain knowledge about the world and build strong academic vocabulary. By visiting the public library during the summer months, a child is surrounded by a variety of reading materials and librarians with the expertise to help all children find reading materials that can challenge, excite and interest them. This summer program bridges the excitement of reading and learning that takes place in the classroom throughout the school year.

  • The Common Core is best supported by children reading more and being engaged by what they read. Public library summer reading programs provide the books and other text resources, and the expertise and fun enrichment activities to encourage reading for information and pleasure.
  • Public libraries offer varied collections of fiction and nonfiction that children can pore over to gain a variety of information and perspectives on their road to forming the habit of reading.
  • The Common Core encourages flexible communication and collaboration. School and public libraries collaborate to attract and engage a wide spectrum of children and families, especially those with high needs, in the excitement of reading.
  • The online summer reading registration tool provided by The New York State Library to all public libraries enables children to track their summer reading and become book “critics” as they write book reviews to assist others in choosing the perfect books to read.
  • Each year the public library summer reading theme encourages inquiry-based programming. To fit with this year’s underground theme, “Dig into Reading,” libraries are partnering with 4-H to offer programs that connect with real scientists as children take an “Adventure in Earth Science” or become “Seed and Soil Detectives.” Programming at public libraries include; creating original presentations and/or performances based on research into the Underground Railroad; mapping the NYC subway system and reading the incredible history of its creation; interviewing geologists, spelunkers, scuba divers, civil engineers and other underground/underwater experts. In addition, libraries partner with museums and local organizations to offer activities where children explore problem solving in real-life situations.
  • Book discussion groups and “Battle of the Books” programs in public libraries help children develop the ability to read with care and use the information from the text to investigate and discuss various issues with their peers.
  • The Explore New York recreational reading lists, created each year by school and public librarians, are used by libraries to encourage the reading of fun and interesting texts during the summer months. They highlight the history, culture, and diversity of New York State and include fiction as well as nonfiction texts by age group. Libraries use the Explore New York reading lists in partnership with the New York Council for the Humanities Together Book Club to offer online book discussion groups and sharing of book reviews.
  • Summer is the time and public libraries are the place for children to grow as readers and explore a world of interests.

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Summer Reading at New York Libraries is funded through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.
Last Updated: October 28, 2013 -- asm