Library Launches Summer Reading Challenge

Partners with Title I Schools to Stop “Summer Slide”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) kicks off its 2013 Summer Reading Challenge for all ages on Monday, June 17. Children and teens are encouraged to read for fun during summer, receiving incentives for every 10 hours they complete. Adults can participate, too, tracking titles of books they read. As part of the Summer Reading Challenge, libraries will host a variety of free programs for all ages, all summer long, with balloon artists, reptile zoos, performing birds, magicians, musicians and more.


While kids have fun reading books and participating in library activities during summer, they are also beating “summer slide” – the learning loss that can occur when children are out of the classroom during summer break. If a child doesn’t read or engage in learning activities during summer, the loss of skills can be equivalent to as much as two months of class time – and it’s compounded annually.

“Studies show that reading and participating in engaging programs helps children retain what they learned during the school year,” said Katie Cerqua, VBPL youth and family services manager. “One of the primary goals of our Summer Reading Challenge is to keep kids engaged and reading so they’re well prepared when they go back to school.”


As part of the effort to beat summer slide, VBPL and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) have partnered to bring the Summer Reading Challenge to students at six Title I schools in Virginia Beach. The schools’ libraries and computer labs will be open to students and their families while VBPL’s youth librarians, in collaboration with the Title I staff, will provide students and their families with interactive literacy activities.

Students and their families will also be able to register and participate online in VBPL’s Summer Reading Challenge. All Title I students will receive eight books and a writing journal selected by a committee of K-5 Title I teachers.


“Several of the titles selected support the content that students will be expected to learn during the 2013-2014 school year, reinforcing their background knowledge and exposing them to new information,” said Kelli Cedo, Title I coordinator at VBCPS. “The schools-libraries partnership is certain to help curb the summer academic backslide.”


Summer Reading Challenge Details

Beginning June 17, visit  to register and begin tracking your summer reading progress. Everyone in the family, even infants, can participate.  Computers with Internet access are available at all libraries for those who don’t have access at home. Friends of VBPL and the Virginia Beach Library Foundation fully fund the Summer Reading Challenge, including new books as reading rewards for children and teens, programs for all ages and grand prizes. Local businesses and organizations contribute prizes and incentives, too. All reading must be logged and all prizes picked up from VBPL locations by Saturday, Aug. 10.


About Virginia Beach Public Library

A community anchor for more than 50 years, Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, eight area libraries, a law library and a bookmobile. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early childhood literacy classes and local history archives. In addition to books in a variety of formats (print, audio and downloadable), the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, as well as movies, music, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit for more information.