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The Importance of Summer Reading

adult reading to a child

The final bell of the school year rings and children burst out through the front doors – papers and notebooks fly in the air, thrown by the young students eager to begin their summer vacation. After studying hard all year – and surviving a particularly soggy spring – everyone is eager for fun in the sun. Soon, however, families and children are faced with the daunting task of finding enough activities to keep everyone happy during the long, hot summer days.

Menomonee Falls Public Library – and its annual Summer Library Program – is a great source for family fun! The Summer Library Program offers reading challenges and fun activities for all ages.

This year’s theme is “Oceans of Possibilities,” and staff are busy planning very exciting in-person events for June, July, and August. Children can stay busy with Outdoor Storytimes, Sensory Storytimes, Build-a-Thon, guest performers and craft programs. Teens can participate in Gamer Gatherings, Human Battleship, an escape room, Anime Club and more. Adults look forward to summer as much as kids do, and the Library has planned many events for them including a presentation on Wisconsin lighthouses, afternoon film screenings, book club discussions, and author visits.

The reading challenge portion of summer reading asks each age group to read a specific number of minutes. Menomonee Falls Public Library uses Beanstack to run its reading challenges. Beanstack is an online platform that allows readers to log their minutes read, complete activities, and write reviews to earn digital badges, prizes, and tickets for prize drawings. The more minutes you read and programs you attend increases your chance to win!

Prizes are not the only reward for reading during the summer. For children, it can significantly improve test scores, spelling ability, and vocabulary usage. A study conducted by the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences at Dominican University revealed that “students who participate in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of next school year than their peers who did not participate.”

An important factor contributing to higher test scores is that summer reading grants children the freedom to choose their own books. Studies conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction discovered students read more frequently when they can choose books based on their own interests. Freedom to choose motivates kids to pick up books voluntarily and instills a sense that reading can be fun.

In addition to the pool, park, and ice cream shop, make the library a frequent stop during your summer routine – it’s a great way to socialize, learn something new, and find a new favorite book.

The Summer Library Program begins on June 13 and ends on August 13. Participants can register beginning June 1 by visiting or by coming to the library. For event details, including dates and times for programs, see our calendar of events.