SM LIBRARY — The Santa Monica Public Library’s summer reading program for babies through teenagers saw an increase this year of 6 percent, with 3,357 children and teens participating, city officials said Friday.
As a result, children and teens read for over 1.5 million minutes during the summer months. City officials said the increase may be attributed in part to the “Dream Big” theme and programming, as well as increased outreach efforts made to local schools, the Juneteenth Festival held in Virginia Avenue Park and, for the first time, Upward Bound House, a transitional housing facility for homeless families.
The Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library sponsored the 10-week program. The library offered over 400 story times and reading-related programs during the summer. It is anticipated that the library will continue to hold their top ranking in youth summer programming when compared to other Southern California cities with comparable population size, city officials said.
According to the American Library Association, numerous studies show that summer reading programs help ensure that children retain reading and learning skills over the summer.
“Study after study has shown that reading for pleasure (not assigned reading) is the best incentive to encourage lifelong learning,” city officials said in a news release.
For more information about free library programs, visit smpl.org or call the Youth Services Department at (310) 458-8621.