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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 3 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 (from birth to 12th grade), 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 STEAM, 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 “Read and Explore” and there are lots of enrichment activities at local libraries all summer long to help kids explore new stories, ideas, and skills. “Summer of Wonder is one of the most important programs the Library hosts, because it creates a fun and effective way for students to fight ‘summer slide,’ when children can lose two to three months of reading and math skills. We offer an engaging way for children to explore, create, and boost learning during the crucial summer months,” Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon said.


Summer of Wonder begins on June 3, but there are kickoff parties all week throughout the library system. Santore Library is even having a Gritty-themed kickoff party! Check the library’s calendar to see what’s happening near you!


Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer