Celebrating Another Summer of Wonder

By Emily S. RSS Mon, August 15, 2022

We're setting new Summer of Wonder records in 2022! Not only did we meet our Community Reading Minutes goal for the summer, we also blasted past all of our minutes-read milestones and logged the most online community minutes read in Free Library history! As of this month, we have read over 360,000 minutes! We're so proud. To celebrate, take a picture of your favorite summer read and tag @FLPYouthServices on Instagram. And keep on logging your minutes online until August 31.

What else have we been up to this summer? Neighborhood libraries across Philadelphia welcomed patrons to celebrate the Summer of Wonder in-person, with grand kick-off events, pride month festivities, snake parties, cooking clubs, craft kits, reading groups, meditation meet-ups, family yoga, gardening, storytimes, friendly goats, and so much more! We are so impressed by our dedicated library staff and patrons, and all the wonderful, creative energy they brought amid challenges. To participate in on-going programming at your neighborhood library, check out our events calendar or follow your branch on social media.

The Free Library joined in on the fun of Welcome America 2022’s family friendly event series, Peco Go 4th and Learn. We were thrilled to offer craft kits and pop-up storytimes, and to meet new patrons that we hope to see soon in a neighborhood library! If you’re new to the Free Library, learn how to get a library card and some of the wonderful ways to use it from our friends at Billy Penn. Remember that we are now truly fine-free!

At the McPherson Square Library and on Play Streets on surrounding blocks in a struggling neighborhood, the Free Library teamed up with Fab Youth Philly, Parks and Rec, and other local organizations to welcome local families and create space to gather, learn, and play this summer. They offered community events, teen and adult job fairs, youth cooking classes, dance workshops, storytimes and book giveaways, outdoor fun with a blow-up water slide for kids, and literacy games with our fabulous Play Streets crew.

The Summer Camp Challenge celebrated another successful summer of literacy learning! Each camp that joined took on the challenge of adding 60 minutes of daily literacy to their program all summer long. Over one hundred camps signed up from around the city, including independent summer camps, Parks and Rec sites, and camps hosted by the Office of Children and Families, as well as 21 childcare centers partnered with the Free Library’s Literacy in Early Learning Spaces. Participating camps brought their ingenuity to the table, with programming tailored to the communities they serve. These included New Americans, young Latinx artists and historians, burgeoning film-makers, survivalist adventurers, and Harry Potter fans! Check out this year's featured read aloud titles, available in the catalog.

Science in the Summer went in-person for the first time since the pandemic began, and we were so excited to be a part of it! Young scientists took up their goggles at neighborhood library branches across the city to learn how to Be a Biologist! Do you have a young scientist-in-the-making at home? Check out these suggested reads all about the science of life, these Earth Week picture books, or leave this planet behind and explore distant galaxies together

Summer coming to a close is always bittersweet. Why not join our virtual Back to School Challenge for kids, running from August 14th to 28th? It’s filled with fun tips, reminders, and resources to help you get a jump start into the school year ahead. Choose activities that work with your household’s needs and routines, have fun together, and get excited about heading back to school! Sign up online to get your gears turning before you reach the classroom. You can start today with picture books, chapter books, back to middle school or high school stories, all chosen to inspire the young folks in your life to take on the new season ahead.

But summer isn’t over quite yet! There are still plenty of fun, free events happening at libraries and around the city. Perhaps you’ll learn to make sofrito, get crafty with strawberries, explore creative careers with the Field Teen Center, or make the most of your free-time with these no-cost pastimes for teens! What will you do to celebrate the dog days of summer before they’re gone? Let us know in the comments!

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