Community Summer Reading Projects

Are you looking for ideas to engage learners over the summer? I have a few to share, but you’ll need to enlist some help. Start with classroom educators. If any of the ideas below spark their interest, talk with reading specialists, administrators, and public librarians about starting a community project. Soon you’ll have a collaborative group who will make summer reading a community event.

Favorite Poem Project

If you have a passion for digital storytelling, you are going to love the Favorite Poem Project. Start by finding a resonating poem. Why does it speak to you? Tell your story with a video camera.

Watch some of the captivating projects on the website. Share this project with classroom educators and public librarians. I bet they already know learners who would love to take part in this project. It will attract videographers, readers, and writers. Set up a meeting place in the public library for community members to brainstorm ideas and create storyboards. Lesson plans included on the website will help facilitate a successful experience.

Choose a platform from the “AASL Best Tools for Teaching and Learning” to share work.

The Great American Read

PBS is launching a nationwide discussion about 100 books this summer. The Great American Read premiers May 22 on PBS at 8/7c, and the series runs throughout the summer. Participants can join the conversation by following #GreatReadPBS on social media. The list reaches different age groups with titles like Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, and 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James. 

The American Library Association is partnering with The Great America Read, so meet with your public librarian and brainstorm ideas to get the community involved. Suggest a book and movie night, a giant “Favorite Book” graph, or embedding the #GreatReadPBS discussion on the library website. Learners can help market the program by making displays, flyers, and public service announcements. Imagine what it would be like to have the entire community talking about books!

Take a look at how many books you have read on the list by taking this quiz.

Summer Reading Program

What does it take to get learners to read over the summer? A school librarian, a public librarian, classroom educators, a reading specialist, administrators, parents, and free pizza! Colchester Elementary School and Kathleen E. Goodwin Elementary School run a successful summer reading program with the public library. Once a week, at 6 p.m., classroom educators and administrators read engaging books to young learners and their families. Free pizza is served after the books are read. Families then spend time checking out books, leaving the library with their arms full of great reads for the week.

Read the Knowledge Quest post “Successful Summer Reading Program” for detailed directions to start this program in your community.

Share Your Ideas

Have you had success with a community summer reading program? If so, please share in the comment box below!

Works Cited

AASL Best Tools for Teaching and Learning:

Favorite Poem Project:

“Successful Summer Reading Program”:

The Great American Read:

The Great American Read Quiz:


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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