summer reading tails and tales theme banner

This year’s summer reading theme is “Tails and tales”.

Prevent the summer learning slide, and help your child be ready for school in the fall, through the Summer Reading Program at your local library. Programs typically take place from late May to early August. Learn more at

Q&A with Elaine Black, director of youth services at Georgia Public Library Service

How does the Summer Reading Program benefit kids and families?
From fun, free learning opportunities like STEM programming or arts and crafts programming to storytelling events to early literacy activities like toddler and preschool story hours to earning badges online through Beanstack – summer reading has you covered with ways to stay engaged when school is not in session.

Georgia Public Library Service provides online access to Beanstack to all 411 public libraries in the state. Through Beanstack, you can track reading, participate in challenges, and engage with fun literacy activities. You can check with your local library to see their schedule and learn how to sign up for Beanstack.

Many of our public libraries also serve as meal or snack sites for the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which makes free healthy meals and snacks available to young people in communities with high rates of poverty.

Will programs be in person, virtual, or both? What are some examples of programming taking place?
Some libraries will have limited in-person events; others will be strictly virtual; and some will offer self-directed programs that can be picked up at the library.

As an example, one library is coordinating with their local Boys and Girls Club to host performances at their gym. Kids can spread out, and everyone can simply have some fun. It’s a win-win.

Other libraries will host outdoor events, such as story times on library grounds. Those with indoor events may host the same event multiple times to ensure that rooms are not overcrowded, or they may require advance registration.

For those not comfortable with in-person programming, other libraries will give out take-home craft bags.

Are there adult Summer Reading Programs?
Yes! Some libraries do offer summer reading events for adults, which may include book clubs, virtual author visits, Beanstack reading challenges, or a speaker series. Adult summer reading programs benefit patrons of all ages. When kids see adults modeling the behavior, they are more likely to become avid readers themselves.

Why should my family participate in summer reading at the library?
Summer reading is a great way for the whole family to have fun and keep learning while school is out. Research shows that students who keep reading during the summer months return to school ready to learn, while students who aren’t reading begin the school year behind those who have read.

Did you know that kids who don’t practice reading during the summer can lose up to three months of reading ability?