May 2024

Summer Reading Program Sparks Imagination and Creativity

Santa Cruz Public Libraries is excited to kick off summer with the 2024 Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is Read, Renew, Repeat! This conservation message invites participants to reduce consumption, reuse materials, and take the time to read as a restorative measure of self-care and renewal as reading transports us to magical worlds, sparking our imagination and creativity.

The Summer Reading Program encourages children to explore the world of books and reading during their summer break. Participation in the Summer Reading Program fosters a love for reading and learning and prevents the “Summer Slip” — a term used to describe the loss over the summer months of academic skills and knowledge students gain throughout the school year

Engaging in reading activities during this time helps prevent the ‘slip’ and enhances children’s literacy skills, ensuring a smoother transition to the new school year in the fall. Adults are also encouraged to participate in the Summer Reading program; this serves as a strong model for children as they see their parents enjoying reading or participating in the many programs offered, enhancing family connectedness and strengthening parent-child bonds.

Beyond preventing the ‘slip, the Summer Reading Program offers a wide range of additional benefits for kids. It allows them to discover the joy of reading for pleasure, without the pressures of school assignments or exams. When children choose books based on their interests and preferences, they immerse themselves in captivating stories, exploring new worlds that spark their imagination. Reading during the summer also enhances vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills while expanding their knowledge on various subjects.

As part of the Summer Reading Program, kids, teens, and families are encouraged to track how much they read to earn gift certificates to Atlantis Fantasy World and the Boardwalk Bowl, scoops of ice cream from The Penny Ice Creamery, and raffle tickets for the grand prize. The grand prize for kids is a gift certificate for a new bike, teens can win a gift certificate for a bike, or other prizes such as headphones, and adults can win gift cards to local bookstores and annual family memberships to local museums.

The library also offers a variety of FREE programs to make the summer even more engaging and interactive. Join us for special events featuring Jack Spareribs: Pirate for Hire, Fratello Marionettes, and NorCal Bats, to name a few! We also have poetry workshops, virtual author talks, family crafts, movie nights, and weekly story times for toddlers and preschoolers. These activities not only foster a sense of community among young readers but also promote creativity and collaboration.

The Santa Cruz Public Libraries Summer Reading Program is a valuable opportunity for children to continue their reading journey during the summer months. By participating in this program and exploring the diverse range of books and activities available, kids can develop a lifelong love for reading, improve their literacy skills, and make the most of their time away from school. We encourage you to read for fun, to learn a new skill, to make a new friend, and read, renew, repeat at the Santa Cruz Public Library this summer!

Visit any of the ten open branches of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries to sign up for the Summer Reading program or go online. Participants can log their Summer Reading hours to win prizes by using the reading log on the back of the program brochure; additional copies of the log are also available. Readers can also log their hours by using the Beanstack App.

For a complete list of all the Summer Reading Program activities and locations, visit the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Summer Reading Program page at

By Ana Maria Treadwell

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