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Free Library of Philadelphia Kicks Off its ‘Summer of Wonder’ Reading Program

Summer reading with challenges, prizes, and great activities for kids throughout Philly!

With school ending soon, how can you combat the “summer slide” and keep the learning going? Enter the Free Library of Philadelphia’s “Summer of Wonder,” with free activities and programming all summer long that support reading, learning, exploration, and fun for all Philly kids—from babies to high schoolers!


The Free Library’s program takes place in every neighborhood library from June 11 through August 3.


To get involved, visit your local library and sign your kids up for an “activity passport,” which they can use to track their progress. The challenges are specialized by age, so even the smallest kids can participate. Every week, kids can check back into the library and report their progress. And there are so many fun summer reading activities going on every week, you’ll have plenty of reasons to visit. Your kids will earn badges and win prizes like little toys, free books, snacks, and even free tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art!


Kids can also participate online through the Free Library of Philadelphia’s summer reading portal. There, they can earn badges by tracking minutes read and completing fun “Discovery Path” activities centered around STEM, literacy, and exploration. When they earn badges, they will be entered into a weekly raffle with prizes for each age group, as well as be entered into a special grand finale prize raffle at the end of the summer. The Summer of Wonder site also includes School District of Philadelphia suggested booklists and reading guides.


This summer’s theme is “discover, explore, and make,” and there are lots of enrichment activities at local libraries that focus on STEM learning, experiments, and more. In addition, 28 library branches will be hosting Science in the Summer — a fun and free science education program sponsored by GSK and administered by The Franklin Institute, which introduces students entering grades 2-6 to the wonderful and fascinating world of science. You have to register online for this program, and it fills up fast, so get on it!


Summer of Wonder begins on June 11, but there are kickoff parties all this week throughout the library system. On June 7 from 10—11 am, the Parkway Central Library will host kickoff party with Mayor Jim Kenney, Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon, and a surprise visit from the Phillie Phanatic! The morning will also include special story sessions, a craft workshop hosted by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a scavenger hunt with the Rosenbach. Check the library’s calendar to see what’s happening near you!


Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Philadelphia Assistant Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org



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