Programs and Services that Support Read by 4th

The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to not only be the managing partner, but also a programmatic partner of Read by 4th. Here are some Free Library programs and services that support Read by 4th:

  • Online Resources for Children and Families
    Explore our great kids’ pages for extensive electronic resources, including learning guides, digital books, and staff currated booklists by age and grade level.
  • Back to School Jumpstart Camp
    The Free Library runs a three week, Back to School Jumpstart Camp in August for children entering 1st through 3rd grades. This fun and educational camp offers hands-on activities in literacy, science, math, and more to jumpstart brainpower and help children gear up for school.
  • Building Bridges with Books
    Building Bridges with Books is a grant project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support literacy development for children at the beginning of their school years. The School District of Philadelphia, in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, is working with 10 elementary schools to provide field trips to nearby neighborhood libraries for children in kindergarten and 1st grade. There will also be special programs and children can check out books. Parent engagement programs will help families support their children’s learning.
  • LEAP
    The Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) provides homework assistance, computer literacy, and library skills for students in grades K–12 and daily literacy enrichment activities for elementary school students. LEAP activities and programs promote traditional literacy as well as literacy in science, technology, and cultural arts. LEAP also introduces students to the many library resources and materials that are available, free of charge, to help them with school assignments. Students at all levels can also access Homework Help Online, powered by, which offers everything from live tutoring—in English and Spanish—to specialized test prep. In addition to encouraging academic achievement, LEAP also fosters a safe and supportive, non-judgmental zone for children and teens.
  • Read, Baby, Read Library Cards
    The Free Library has partnered with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Reach Out and Read program to provide library cards to children from birth to age five during doctor's visits.
  • Science in the Summer™
    GSK Science in the Summer™, in partnership with The Franklin Institute, is a free science education program that helps elementary school children in the greater Philadelphia area “grow into science.” Through classes and hands-on experiments in public libraries, the program gets kids excited about studying science. Children in 2nd through 6th grades are eligible to participate. The 2016 theme is Bioscience! Registration begins May 16.
  • Storytimes
    The Free Library of Philadelphia offers storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, families, and children of all ages. These storytimes are high-energy, literacy-based, active, play-filled programs. Find a storytime at a neighborhood library near you.
  • Summer Reading
    Children of all ages are encouraged to participate in Summer Reading by visiting their local library and signing up for a bingo game board or by participtaing online. Studies show that reading throughout the summer is critical to students' staying on track academically, and here at the Free Library it is supported and rewarded! Special programs and activities are available at each library for children and families to learn, engage, and grow! Check out our online calendar to find a special program near you.
  • Sundays on Stage
    Sundays on Stage is a series of cultural programs featuring live performances by a variety of artists and entertainers. These family programs celebrate diversity through music, dance, storytelling, and more. Join us at 2:00 p.m. in the Montgomery Auditorium of the Parkway Central Library on select Sundays.

    Sundays on Stage is made possible by funding from the Philadelphia City Institute Board of Managers.

  • Tumblebooks
    Through the Free Library, children and families can access Tumblebooks, an online source of thousands of free ebooks and audiobooks.

  • Wooden-Block Parties
    Hosted at the Bushrod Library and the Lillian Marrero Library, Wooden-Block Parties offer children ages 3–6 and their families wooden-unit blocks and related toys for building, playing, and learning.
  • Words at Play
    The Words at Play Vocabulary Initiative is a community-wide, grant-funded initiative taking place at Cecil B. Moore and Widener libraries, both located in North Philadelphia, west of Broad Street. The grant’s focus is on families with children starting from birth to age five. Through playing, singing, and reading at “Play Parties”, families will discover new ideas to help strengthen their child’s vocabulary. Five organizations are working collaboratively to offer this initiative: the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute, the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Zoo. PNC Grow Up Great® and PNC Crezca con Éxito have formed a $350 million, multi-year, English/Spanish initiative to help prepare children—particularly underserved children—from birth to age five for success in school and life. Grow Up Great was founded in 2004 by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

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