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Shapiro Administration Highlights Library Programs that Keep Kids Learning All Summer Long

06/21/2024

Ambler, PA -  Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin today joined kids and their families at the Ambler branch of the Wissahickon Valley Public Library for a Juneteenth story time.

“Libraries are vital hubs for Pennsylvanians, providing the space and resources for learners of all ages – for free. Especially during the summer months when school is not in session, libraries provide educational opportunities and activities at no cost to families, helping kids continue to learn, grow, and keep their brains active,” said Secretary Mumin. “Events like Ambler’s Juneteenth Story Time give kids an opportunity to hear stories from community members and learn new things, and apply what they’ve learned in a hands-on way, both in the library and in their communities.”

In honor of Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19, the Ambler branch of the Wissahickon Valley Public Library hosted local community members and families for a Juneteenth story and craft time where kids could learn more about Juneteenth and its history and purpose, and engage in hands-on learning. 

According to the 2022 PA Public Library Data Survey, libraries across the Commonwealth received more than 21.8 million visitors in 2022. During these visits, physical copies of books were checked out of local libraries more than 42.7 million times, with nearly half being children’s books. However, libraries lend a lot more than just physical copies of books. According to the survey, 6,537 computers were provided in libraries for use by the general public and were used over 5 million times throughout the year. 

Libraries across the Commonwealth offer services for Pennsylvanians of all ages, but providing programs and services to learners when school is not in session during summer and holiday breaks is one of the many ways to keep kids learning and keep their minds engaged. In 2022, libraries held over 91,000 programs for children ages birth to 11 years old with more than 1.8 million kids attending. More than 14,000 programs were held for young adults ages 12 to 18, with over 143,000 young adults attending. 

Governor Josh Shapiro is committed to ensuring Pennsylvania students have the resources they need to learn and grow all year long. His 2023-24 budget secured more than $10 billion for K-12 public education fundingand his 2024-25 budget proposal requests a nearly $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding—the largest in Pennsylvania history. The proposal also includes $300 million for school environmental repairs, $100 million for mental health supports in schools, a $50 million increase for special education funding, a $50 million annual investment in school safety and security improvements, and another $70 million for public libraries and library systems across Pennsylvania.

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

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith, casesmith@pa.gov 

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