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Valley libraries make it their mission to combat effects of 'summer brain drain'

Sixty-five libraries across the county are launching their summer reading program.

ARIZONA, USA — Libraries make it their mission to combat the effects of the summer brain drain.

“Kids often experience summer learning loss,” said Jennifer Brown, the Program Director at the Maricopa County Library District. “So that's what we call the summer slide.”

That’s why 65 libraries across the county are launching their summer reading program. Brown says the concept is simple for kids.

“We encourage them to read 20 minutes a day,” said Brown.

Under the reading program, one minute of reading equals one point. The goal is to reach 1,000 points by the end of the summer.

“We got all the way to 1,000 [points] and Addy still has her medal,” said Elisabeth Moore, whose two kids, Benjamin and Adelaide, take part in the program every year. “She likes to show all her friends.”

“We have incentives that 500 points, 750 points, and 1,000 points,” said Brown. “So at 500 points, you get things like Peter Piper Pizza, Raising Canes, and Rubio's. At 750 points, you get an Arizona parks pass as well as tickets to a Phoenix Mercury game. And then our favorite incentive: at 1,000 points is a free book that everyone gets for their home libraries.”

Parents can pick up game boards at their local library. The game board is used to track the child’s progress over the summer. There are a variety of ways children can earn points:

  • Reading books
  • Reading comic books
  • Reading magazines
  • Listening to audiobooks
  • Listening to an adult read

This summer, Moore can’t wait to dive in again.

“I love that it motivates us to keep reading every single day,” Moore said.

Get the details:

  • Oceans of Possibilities runs June 1st through August 1st.
  • Sign up at any Maricopa County Library or go online to MaricopaCountyReads.org
  • Log reading minutes online to earn prizes


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