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


READ! by 4th announced an extensive summer literacy program to be presented at dozens of locations throughout Philadelphia. For the first time, citywide organizations—from camps and rec centers to nonprofits and cultu­­ral institutions—will be including a daily literacy component to their summer programming, as part of READ! by 4th. The Free Library will be hosting its flagship “Summer of Wonder” Summer Reading program at 53 library locations, which encourages students of all ages to read extensively and participate in special Library programs. Preventing the summer slide is crucial in helping students achieve success in the classroom. Studies overwhelmingly show that reading five or more books over the summer helps students remain on grade level and return to school in the fall prepared to learn.


The READ! by 4th summer literacy programming launch at McClure Elementary School featured costumed storybook characters and free children’s book giveaways. Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite, and Greg Redden, Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Region President of Wells Fargo, a READ! by 4th sponsor, were all present, along with partner organizations to emphasize the importance—and fun—of reading over the summer.


“Maintaining good reading habits over the summer months helps young people grow stronger as readers and as students,” said Reardon. “By providing extensive and unprecedented summer literacy programming at the Free Library and at other citywide organizations through READ! by 4th, we are working hard to ensure that our leaders of tomorrow are on track to possess the tools they need to succeed.”


“Students need every resource to foster lifelong reading habits,” said Dr. Hite. “Through READ! by 4th, we can maximize our efforts to help every student acquire grade-level literacy skills. We appreciate the ongoing work of our partners on behalf of our students.”


READ! by 4th is a citywide effort of 50 organizations, public and private, large and small, convened and managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia, aiming to substantially increase the number of students in Philadelphia entering the 4th grade at reading level by 2020. This is the largest effort of its kind in the city of Philadelphia. READ! by 4th’s comprehensive strategy includes improving early learning, providing parents with resources to teach their children reading skills, emphasizing summer reading and other strategies to prevent learning loss, decreasing absenteeism by addressing behavioral and health concerns, and enhancing reading instruction in schools.


READ! by 4th is made possible through generous funding from the William Penn Foundation, The Lenfest Foundation, Wells Fargo, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, Eagles Youth Partnership, and the Douty Foundation.


For more information about READ! by 4th visit


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The 61-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. With more than 6 million in-person visitors and millions more online visits annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


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