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Pennsylvania Department of Education Joins Free Library of Philadelphia To Kick Off Summer Reading

06/08/2022

Philadelphia, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Executive Deputy Secretary Dr. Debora Carrera today visited Richmond Library, a neighborhood location of the Free Library of Philadelphia, to take part in Richmond Library’s Mad Science Show Summer Reading Kickoff and encourage kids to get involved in their local summer reading programs.

“Summer programs like those offered by Richmond Library keep students learning all summer long,” said Dr. Carrera. “These programs provide a great opportunity for students to learn about the things that interest them the most, but at a more leisurely pace. I am thankful libraries like Richmond provide services and programs in a fun way that keep kids learning during the summer.”

Summer programs are hosted by local organizations across the commonwealth and give students an outlet to keep learning and stay engaged throughout the summer months when school is not in session. Many libraries have free programs and events including reptile shows, art projects, and reading challenges.

In his 2022-23 budget proposal, Governor Tom Wolf has requested a $1.25 million increase for libraries, including a $1 million increase in the Public Library Subsidy. The subsidy goes directly to local libraries, library systems, and 29 district library centers, and provides every Pennsylvanian access to statewide resource center libraries at the State Library of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the libraries of The Pennsylvania State University.

Pennsylvania is committed to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians can easily access the library resources that exist not only in their own communities but also across the commonwealth. The commonwealth helps defray the cost of basic operations of Pennsylvania’s more than 600 local public libraries that annually serve more than 16 million visitors who borrow nearly 60 million books, including digital content.

“The Summer Reading Program at the Free Library of Philadelphia provides students of all ages and their families activities and learning that helps prevent 'summer slide' while out of school. The Richmond Branch offers more than books to keep kids' minds growing,” said Amy Thatcher, branch manager of Richmond Library. “We have expanded our offerings to include science experiments and magic shows, beekeeping and honey extraction, planting a pollinator garden, baby massage classes and toddler story times. Like learning itself, summer reading programs in libraries are opportunities to create and maintain a foundational social infrastructure. Doing so fills a void when friends and classrooms are out of reach.”

The Free Library of Philadelphia has 54 locations across Philadelphia, providing homework help, English Language Learning (ELL) classes, supportive job search assistance, and more. The library provides a safe haven for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and opportunities for discussion supported by educational resources, access to a vast array of information, and ideas that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on FacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith - casesmith@pa.gov

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