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June 22, 2023
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Dora Ricci


2023 Summer Reading Program “All Together Now” Promotes Inclusion, Enrichment, and Love of Reading for Students and Families

The State Library Leads the State Education Department’s Activities to Encourage Reading and Learning All Summer Long

The New York State Education Department and New York State Library are partnering with 1,100 public libraries and neighborhood branches statewide to launch the annual Summer Reading at New York Libraries program, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. This year’s slogan, All Together Now, connects students of all ages through the theme of friendship, kindness, inclusion, and diversity. Public libraries across New York will host exciting activities and events throughout the summer with the goal of bringing children, families, and communities together for reading and enrichment programs. Activities for all age levels will include performances, craft programs, story times, workshops, author events, and more.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “The Summer Reading at New York Libraries program advances literacy and academic performance by engaging children and teens in reading during summer months. These Summer Reading programs foster a love of reading in students of all ages, by encouraging self-selected, voluntary reading. These fun and creative public library experiences help create lifelong readers and learners.”   

State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “This year, public libraries across the state will be using the theme ‘All Together Now’ to guide their Summer Reading programs. This is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in our communities and libraries. This year’s Summer Reading taps into the unique power of libraries to connect children, teens, and families with diverse books and programming that reflect their lives, interests, and experiences.”

Goals of the Summer Reading at New York Libraries program include:

  • Advance literacy and maintain reading skill levels by engaging children and teens in reading and enrichment activities during the summer months;
  • Foster a love of reading and familiarity with the library’s many resources;
  • Increase access to expansive and diverse library collections to support children’s self-selected, voluntary reading for fun and pleasure;
  • Involve parents, caregivers, family members, and the entire community in the library Summer Reading experience; and
  • Increase collaboration between schools, school libraries, and public libraries to promote, facilitate, and increase Summer Reading participation.

In addition to program support and resources, the State Library provides public libraries across New York access to the online READsquared app. Students and families can use the app to track their favorite books and activities during Summer Reading and throughout the rest of the year. Additionally, kids, teens, and families are encouraged to visit their local public libraries and library websites to explore and sign up for Summer Reading programs, where they can register to track books read, attend events, and earn prizes and badges. To extend their reach to even more students and families, many libraries also bring Summer Reading and learning activities to summer schools and community sites.

Students who are unable to use standard print materials due to a visual, physical, or reading disability can obtain Summer Reading material through the  New York State Talking Book & Braille Library or the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. 

This year, the 2023/2024 State Budget provided the New York State Library with an appropriation of $176,000 in special revenue funds from the Love Your Library Fund in support of Summer Reading. The $176,000 was allocated to New York’s 23 public library systems under the provisions of Education Law 273(9) State Aid for Summer Reading Programs.

To support the fund, visit the Love Your Library program webpage, which has information about a tax check-off and a special license plate that can be purchased.

Senate Education Committee Chair Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am proud to support NYSED and NSPL’s annual summer reading program. I am passionate about summer reading for children AND adults - it is fun, expands the mind, grows the imagination and improves all of our reading skills.  This year’s program theme, “All Together Now” is a wonderful reminder how we can connect with one another and learn about the whole world through reading.”

Senator John Liu, Chair of the Senate New York City Education Committee, said, “Summer is the perfect time to sit back and relax with a good book, and New York’s vast network of libraries are the best places for our young people to dive into a new genre and expand their horizons. Many thanks to Commissioner Rosa and the State Education Department for continuing this much-loved Summer Reading Program for all of New York’s students.”

Senator Iwen Chu, Chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, said, “There’s nothing better than reading a great book during a beautiful summer day! Through the “All Together Now” Summer Reading Program, our public libraries offer students a fun and enriching opportunity to continue learning after the school year ends. This is an important tool to combat summer learning loss and can connect our youngsters through their imaginations and we must provide our students the opportunities and resources to thrive during and, in between, the school year.”

Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, said, “The theme for this year’s New York Libraries Summer Reading Program, ‘All Together Now,’ is so fitting. I’ve seen first-hand how libraries are truly community hubs that bring people from all walks of life together. Sharing the love of libraries and reading helps foster a sense of connection which is so important for our young people, many of whom are experiencing extreme loneliness and feelings of post-pandemic isolation. I’m honored to be helping our youth find the joy that going to the library and reading great books brought me.”

The New York State Library is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. For more information visit the NYS Library's website.