How to get kids reading during a pandemic summer

It was a challenging spring quarter for millions of New York City students (and their parents), and this summer is shaping up to be chaotic, with many day camps closed, youth programs shuttered and other programs on hold. The Summer Slide — the loss of education that can occur during the summer months — is an annual concern. This season it’s magnified, coming after months of distance learning and disrupted routines.

As usual, the New York Public Library is helping out.

“For the kids and families of New York City, this summer is going to look quite different than any other in recent memory,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “It is more important than ever for the City’s libraries to support these families and offer programming, book recommendations, and more to keep kids engaged and learning outside the classroom (or their home schools).

“This has not been an easy year for anyone, especially our kids and teens, who have had their worlds turned upside down. If we can provide them and their families an escape via books and activities that also happen to support their education, then we are doing our jobs this summer.”

Here’s just a sample of some of the things happening:

  • A virtual summer camp series that runs from June 29 – August 7 for children, teens and tweens will consist of videos with librarians walking kids (and their families) through projects. The Web site will also include activity packets that can be downloaded.
  • Online story times which will also run on Channel 13 this summer, starting in July.
  • Virtual 1:1 tutoring offers free online homework help to kids in a variety of subjects, in both Spanish and English, in core subject areas.
  • The annual Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages kids to track their reading progress online and serves up book recommendations for eager readers.

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