Summer Reading and Kwame Alexander


Ahhhhhhh, it’s my first day of summer break – one of my favorite days of the year! What’s the other one? Well, the first day of school, of course – teachers are weird like that!

As a teacher, librarian, and mom, I have thought and read and met and talked and researched about summer reading for years now, and have never found the absolute perfect solution to get every single kid reading…….but I can say that there is no shortage of really wonderful people working tirelessly on getting kids reading as much as possible while they are out of school. At my school we offer digital reading options such as Open eBooks and PebbleGo, and I let students check out 10 books from the school library for the summer. My principal is also trying a new summer reading minutes challenge this year. One of the biggest and most important things we do for our students, though, is have a close relationship with our local library systems and really help promote their summer reading program.

KwameHighresSigning_cropped.jpgI was recently made aware of an organization called the Collaborative Summer Library Program, and the exciting news that one of my very favorite authors, Kwame Alexander, is their 2017 Summer Reading Champion this year! (If you don’t know about his books Crossover or Booked yet, make that your summer reading goal!) Kate DiCamillo was the Summer Reading Champion in years past – what huge shoes to fill, huh? I guarantee that Alexander (a Newbery Medalist!) can meet the challenge, though.

What is the Collaborative Summer Library Program?

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is a consortium of states working together to provide a unified summer reading theme along with professional art and evidence-based materials so that member libraries can provide high-quality summer reading programs at the lowest possible cost and to play a significant role in literacy initiatives.

Check out Kwame Alexander’s video at the end of this post, and head to the CSLP YouTube channel for more videos from Kwame about summer reading! You can also get a great booklist from him as well.

Screenshot 2017-05-31 08.49.29

Our local larger city library is using the CSLP “Build a Better World” program this summer, and we plan to attend some of the events and check out their programming in addition to our county library system’s events. I love this theme so much!

For more information about CSLP and Build a Better World, head to the links above, and please do whatever you can to get books into kids’ hands this summer……..

Just a few ideas for this:

  • give books as gifts
  • read books with kids – yours or volunteer at a summer care organization (BGC, YMCA, etc)
  • ask your neighbor and family members’ children about what they are reading
  • create a neighborhood adult-child book club
  • install a Little Free Library in your neighborhood
  • talk about the books YOU are reading when you are with kids

2 thoughts on “Summer Reading and Kwame Alexander

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