“One in six children who are not reading at proficiency in third grade fail to graduate from high school on time: four times the rate for children with proficient third-grade reading skills.”
– The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2012
The ability to read is a key indicator of a child’s future successes in life. The goal of Summer Spark – the summer learning program – is to give children positive reading and library experiences, and help them retain the reading skills they develop during the school year.
For preschool children and beginning readers the Saint Paul Public Library offers free performances of storytelling, music, magic and science activities events, so they develop a love of the library and reading.
Older children register, record the time they spend reading, and write reviews. By meeting benchmarks, they choose a book as a prize. Books are selected by librarians with assistance from a teen advisory group.
At a Glance
- In 2015, 4,168 children and teens reached their summer reading goals, earning free books as incentive prizes!
- There were more than 100 free performances and special activities at libraries and rec centers, with attendance of 11,293!
Friends Support Summer Spark
The Friends has supported summer learning programs since 1962.
Each year, The Friends raises money from the community, and grants it to the library to support the performances and materials used in this program. The Friends have also helped individuals in the community create endowed funds that provide the books given away as reading incentives and prizes for the children and teens who reach their reading goals. Last year, the following organizations joined with The Friends to support Summer Spark and help prevent “summer slide” by our greatest assets, our future, our kids:
Dollar General Literacy Founddation
Carl Benson Endowment
Elizabeth Biorn Endowment
Ethel R. Ridgway Foundation
Lillian Wright and C. Emil Berglund Foundation
Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota Twins, Ecolab Foundation
Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com
Red Balloon Bookshop
Would you like to see your business or family’s name on this list for 2016?
Email Greg Giles, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement to learn more about how you can support Summer Spark and strengthen your community!
Or click here for more information about how to make a legacy gift to the George Latimer Endowment Fund for Summer Learning.