For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


Free Library of Summer Fun announces new season of popular summer program that encourages reading among children, teens, and adults

PHILADELPHIA, June 2, 2011—The Free Library of Philadelphia will kick off this year’s Summer Reading program—Discover the World @ Your Library—on Thursday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. at the Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street. Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon will begin the celebrations; she will be joined by Vince Liuzzi, Regional President of Wells Fargo, and Doug Smith, Director of External Affairs from Verizon, the program’s co-lead sponsors, who will read to Philadelphia school students in attendance. The Phillie Phanatic will also make a special appearance to dance with students and get them excited about reading!

The Discover the World @ Your Library Summer Reading Program will take place from June 20 through August 12, 2011 and combines reading with events, activities, and a special game board that helps students keep track of their progress and gives them the chance to win prizes from participating sponsors. Teens in grades 7-12 have the additional opportunity to create an Activity Card that documents activities completed and time spent reading for entry in special raffles. The program also welcomes summer camps, schools, and other groups to participate in the program by visiting any Free Library branch or requesting a visit from a local librarian.

The Summer Reading program supports literacy in Philadelphia by encouraging more than 60,000 children, teens, and adults to read during the summer months. Studies suggest that the simple act of reading six or more books during the summer can help students avoid “brain drain” and even make gains in their reading levels.

“It is incredibly important for school students—and adults!—to maintain good reading habits over the summer,” said Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon. “This year, we invite readers to ‘Discover the World’ at their neighborhood Free Library branch with special programs, lots of great books, and fantastic prizes for voracious readers. We are especially grateful to our lead sponsors Wells Fargo and Verizon for making our Summer Reading Program possible. Our summer readers thank you!”

“At Wells Fargo, we know that the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer Reading Program is a vital part of a child’s continuing education and we are proud to be a lead sponsor of this summertime tradition for the 19th consecutive year,” said Vince Liuzzi, Wells Fargo’s Regional President for Greater Philadelphia and Delaware. “Literacy skills are one of the building blocks of success in school and in life, and we are proud to offer Wells Fargo’s financial and volunteer support to help the Summer Reading Program reach as many students as possible.”

“Education is the key that can unlock a brighter future for every child,” said Gale Y. Given, President of Verizon Pennsylvania. “Verizon recognizes the diverse array of resources and activities available to all who walk through the doors of the Free Library of Philadelphia and its neighborhood branches. We are proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Summer Reading program.”

In addition to lead sponsors Wells Fargo and Verizon, Summer Reading is made possible by the PKG Foundation, the Philadelphia City Institute Board of Managers, the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, Beneficial Foundation, The Cotswold Foundation, UGI Corporation, with media sponsorship by Telemundo. Special prizes have been donated by the Philadelphia Phillies, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Herr’s Foods Inc., Clementon Park and Splash World, Thunderbird Bowling Centers, Rita’s Italian Ice, Hard Rock Café Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

The kickoff event is also the official opening of the Online Summer Reading program. Through August 31, 2011, children, teens, and adults can submit book reviews to have their names entered in online prize raffles held throughout the summer.

The Summer Reading program is also open to adult readers; those interested are encouraged to stop by their local Free Library branch for more information.

For more information and to sign up for the Summer Reading program, visit, call 215-686-5372, or visit your local branch.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850