Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Super Reader Summer Reading Program Starts Today

Milwaukee Public Library Sets Goal to Enroll 25,000 Youth in the Reading Program

By - May 18th, 2015 10:01 am
Super Readers. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Library.

Super Readers. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Library.

MILWAUKEE – Today, the Milwaukee Public Library kicks-off the annual Super Reader Summer Reading Program.  In 2015, the library plans to exceed last year’s enrollment numbers with a goal of enrolling 25,000 children and teens ages 0-18.

The Super Reader Summer Reading Program encourages children to read or be read to every day during the summer and track reading progress in a reading folder to earn reading incentives such as free food and free admission to many area attractions.

New this year, all Milwaukee school children will receive their tracking folder at school and can start reading right away.  They just need to bring the folder to a Milwaukee Public Library to complete their sign-up and collect prizes.

According to a Johns Hopkins University study, children who read over the summer maintain or even improve their reading abilities and educational outcomes.  Research also shows that children who do not read over the summer lose up to three months of the reading skills learned during the school year.  Over time this “summer slide” can compound and by fourth grade a child can be nearly two years behind his or her peers.  Living in low-income or impoverished households can widen the achievement gap even further.

“Some researchers estimate 50 to 67 percent of the achievement gap for children living in poverty is the result of summer learning loss.  Summer reading programs can help to offset this loss because studies also indicate students who read recreationally out-perform those who don’t,” said Library Director Paula Kiely. “The entire community stands to gain by supporting and encouraging a yearlong love of reading among our children.”

“Last year nearly 21,000 children participated,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “We want more.  It’s free, it’s easy and it’s really important.  I encourage parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers to bring the children in their lives to a Milwaukee Public Library to sign-up and to give them the support and encouragement they need to read 15 minutes a day.”

Children age 0-12 can enroll.  A library card is not required to participate; however, children completing first-grade and up are encouraged to get a free library card. Parents are encouraged to enroll children four and under and read to them daily.  The program ends August 29.

Teens age 13-18 can sign-up for the Teen Summer Reading Program “Put Your Face in a Book.” This program challenges teens to read up to ten books over the summer and complete a reading passport to earn rewards and a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Teens can sign-up online here: www.mpl.org/SummerReading.

“Some children make progress not only because they read more, but because they do more.  Life experiences that contribute to problem-solving or decoding skills help in reading comprehension. The ability to read a passage can be dependent on having some relevant background knowledge,” said Kelly Hughbanks, Coordinator of Youth Services, Milwaukee Public Library. “Such knowledge can be derived from summer experiences not available to all children – in camp, on vacation, etc. That’s one of the reasons our summer reading program includes hundreds of free, in-library events and activities.”

Among those activities, families and children are invited to Super Reader “Super Hero Academy” kick-off events through June 15 at the following locations.  At these free, family events, kids can make a super hero mask, enjoy super hero story time and participate in super hero training library style (easy and fun): break through a “brick” wall, walk over “lava” and lift “giant” barbells:

Atkinson, 1960 W. Atkinson Ave.: Monday, June 15, 5-6 p.m.
Bay View, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.: Tuesday, May 26, 6-7 p.m.
Capitol, 3969 N. 74th St.: Wednesday, May 27, 6-7 p.m.
Center Street, 2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave.: Wednesday, June 10, 6-7 p.m.
East, 2320 N. Cramer St.: Wednesday, May 20, 6-7 p.m.
Forest Home, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave.: Wednesday, June 10, 6-7 p.m.
Martin Luther King, 310 W. Locust St.: Monday, June 15, 5-6 p.m.
Mill Road, 6431 N. 76th St.: Wednesday, June 3, 6-7 p.m.
Villard Square, 5190 N. 35th St.: Tuesday, June 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Washington Park, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd.: Monday, June 8, 6-7 p.m.
Zablocki, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave.: Monday, June 8, 6-7 p.m.

Visit www.mpl.org/summerreading for more information.

The Milwaukee Public Library Super Reader Program is generously supported by gifts to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.  Major support for the 2015 program comes from Pick ‘n Save, Northwestern Mutual Foundation, Brewers Community Foundation, We Energies Foundation, Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust, R.A. Stevens Family Foundation, Helen Bader Foundation, Ralph Evinrude Foundation, Stella H. Jones Foundation and the Wochinske Family Foundation.

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