Seattle's Child

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Summer reading programs: Local libraries offer activities, incentives

Stay busy, learn something, win a prize!

Summer reading programs: What a perfect activity.

With longer days and fewer responsibilities (well, for some of us, anyway), there’s extra time to let books take us to faraway places or entertain us with fantastical tales. Kids can learn new words and ideas, and keep those minds fresh even while taking a break from the rigors of school.

Local libraries always get in on the fun (and make it more fun) with creative events, activities and enticements. For example:

Summer reading programs, 2022

King County Library System: KCLS has launched its Summer Reading Program for all ages. It runs through Aug. 31, 2022. Participants ages 5 and older are invited to track minutes spent reading, with a 500-minute halfway goal and a 1,000-minute final goal. Preschoolers (ages newborn to 5) may complete a series of early literacy activities with assistance from parents or caregivers.

Participants may read anything they choose, and reading to someone else or listening to an audiobook counts, too.

Kids who read for at least 500 minutes, or complete 25 early learning activities, will be honored on their library’s Community Board and will receive a KCLS Reader patch featuring artwork by artist Erin Wallace. For making it to the 1,000-minute mark, or completing 50 early learning activities, the award is KCLS Reader journal featuring Wallace’s artwork (while supplies last).

Libraries also will have numerous summer activities, both online and in person. They will include arts and crafts, music and magic, StoryWalks, STEM learning and literary events. Find the events calendar here.

Use the Beanstack app to sign up and log hours — or pick up a reading log at the library. Full program details here.


Seattle Public Library: It’s going to be a superhero summer at the Seattle Public Library.

The library wants kids and teens to explore their superpowers by participating in the Summer of Learning program, which runs June 21 through Monday, Aug. 29. The Superhero Summer Action Guide and Game Board will be available at all neighborhood libraries. Readers can use it to track their progress in reading and good deeds, find new books to read, win prizes and more. Go online to download the guide as well as find full program details (in multiple languages) and reading suggestions. Program highlights include:

Wall of Superheroes: Once you’ve completed 10 squares on the game board, you can put your name up on the Wall of Superheroes at your neighborhood Library. There also will be Superhero Selfie Stations at library branches. And finally, the program concludes with a free Superhero Party for all participants and families at the Burke Museum on Sunday, Aug. 28.



SPL also has Book Bingo, the summer reading program for adults (18+). It is presented in conjunction with Seattle Arts & Lectures. Download (or pick up) a bingo card, then get going on the challenges in categories such as “Outside Your Comfort Zone,” “Unrelated Narrator” and more. In fact, you’ve got to check out the bingo card because the categories are so interesting!

Upon achieving either bingo or blackout, submit the card for a chance at prizes including a 2022-23 Seattle Arts & Lectures subscription or a gift card from one of Seattle’s independent bookstores.

Everett Public Library System: “Oceans of Possibilities” is the summer reading program theme at Everett Public Library System. There are programs for both kids and adults. Incentives include free books and entries into a grand-prize drawing.

Sno-Isle Libraries: Sno-Isle Libraries encourages kids to read or be read to for 10 hours over the summer. The reward: a free book! There are printable paper reading logs for both kids and teens; or a digital tracking option via Beanstack. They’re also offering virtual events, in-person events and a mindfulness bingo program for teens.

Tacoma Public Library: Tacoma Public Library’s theme this summer is “Oceans of Possibilities.” Track reading either on paper or online. There also will be a variety of programs: in person, outdoor, virtual, take-home kits and more. Important to know about Tacoma’s program: It wraps up a little early: Saturday, Aug. 13.

Pierce County Library System: Pierce County Library System‘s summer reading program is under way at its 20 locations with the theme “Beyond the Beaten Path.” Highlights include free activity booklets; grab-and-go activities to do at home and ways to earn free books and passes to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek.


Summer reading programs at bookstores:

Half-Price Books is calling its summer program Summer Reading Camp. There are book lists, giveaways, reading logs and an “activity of the week.” (Puget Sound-area locations in Tacoma, Tukwila, Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood and Everett, but this is an online program.)

Scholastic, purveyor of the beloved school book fair, has a summer reading program that runs through Sept. 3. It encourages kids to start and maintain a Reading Streak (great idea!), attend online author talks and other events and help Scholastic in its efforts to donate books to kids in underserved areas.

Barnes & Noble: This chain’s website is great for lists. For instance, if you’ve got a bored kid or teen, point them to 100 Books of Summer for Teens and YALocal in-person locations: Bellevue, Alderwood, Northgate, Southcenter, Federal Way, Woodinville.

[Looking for more kid-friendly activities? Download our app and discover our customizable events calendar. Filter by child ages, location, free events and more.]




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Favorite summer reads: University Book Store picks

[Looking for more kid-friendly activities? Download our app and discover our customizable events calendar. Filter by child ages, location, free events and more.]


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