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Dozens of metro Phoenix libraries will launch summer reading program

A summer reading program designed by the Maricopa County Library District is being used by 65 public, tribal and military base libraries across the Valley. 

The program, open to all ages, includes an online interactive game and educational challenges for kids. Participants are encouraged to read at least 20 minutes a day.

“Studies have shown that students can lose the equivalent of two to four months of learning in the summer, particularly in reading and math. They start this next school year behind and the effects can be cumulative over time, said Phoenix Deputy Library Director Karl Kendall.

The online game is paired with activities at the city’s 17 locations.

“We have tons of free programs, everything from African dance troops to Zoo programs, magicians, jugglers, puppets and much more,” Kendall said.

The Maricopa County Library District says more than 80,000 people participate annually. Phoenix hopes to get 25,000 to register.

Wendy Resnik, who oversees children’s services for Phoenix libraries, says they’ll have more than 150 teens volunteering with the program.

“They have to apply through the city volunteer portal, they have to have interviews and lots of customer service training. And my hope is that they keep that volunteer job on their resumes, because it's evidence of a committed and focused future leader,” Resnik said.

The Maricopa County Reads summer reading program begins June 1. Participants can earn prizes and books. A list of participating libraries can be found at maricopacountyreads.org/ParticipatingLibraries. 

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.