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San Diego Public Library Starts Summer Reading Challenge

A view of the San Diego Public Library, Sept. 9, 2016.

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A view of the San Diego Public Library, Sept. 9, 2016.

The San Diego Public Library kicked off its Summer Reading Program on Tuesday in hopes of helping children of all ages re-adjust to the post-pandemic world.

With this year’s reading challenge titled “Reading Colors Your World,” San Diego’s librarians are hoping children will be able to explore new worlds after a year of being stuck at home.

Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

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“The program encourages readers to be creative, try new things, explore new art and find beauty in diversity,” said Emily Derry, the San Diego Public Library’s youth and engagement coordinator.

Participants can earn prizes by finishing 10 books or reading for 10 hours. Or they can join a variety of activities like virtual storytimes. Prizes include books and free passes to several San Diego museums.

“They’re really literacy based activities. They include writing a letter to someone, telling a story aloud to someone, appreciating oral storytelling and watching a movie adaptation of a book they read,” Derry said.

Derry hopes this year’s program can boost reading skills, especially in those students who have fallen behind.

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“Before the pandemic we already knew that in the summer following third grade, students lose nearly 20% of their school-year gains in reading,” Derry said. “And that loss can increase with age through elementary and middle school.”

The summer reading program is open to children of all ages. Participants can sign up online or at one of 25 city library branches.

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