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Mayor Bowser and Washington Nationals Kick Off Summer Reading Program

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The Nationals will donate $750,000 over three years to the library’s summer reading program

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Washington Nationals broadcaster Ray Knight kicked off DC Public Library’s (DCPL) Summer Reading program at Northwest One Library on L Street Northwest. Mayor Bowser also thanked the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation for making a three-year sponsorship $750,000 commitment to the DC Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.

DCPL’s summer reading program combats the “summer slide” -- the loss of learning that children experience during the summer months.  For each year of the partnership, the Nationals are contributing $250,000 in tickets, merchandise, program collateral and other support to the DC Public Library Summer Reading Program. Through the partnership, the District is encouraging and creating opportunities for children to continue learning during their summer vacation.

“District students work hard during the school year and it is important that we provide them with opportunities to continue learning during the summer,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Having a good education is vital to creating pathways to the middle class for our residents and partners like the Washington Nationals help ensure our young people have the motivation and the tools they need to succeed.”

“DC Public Library is grateful to the Washington Nationals for their ongoing support of the Summer Reading Program,” said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director, DC Public Library. “Through their phenomenal prizes, their free tickets, and their player appearances, they have demonstrated a lasting commitment to literacy and to the education of the District’s youth.”

The Nationals are supporting summer reading by offering:

  • All kids over age five and teens who reach their summer reading goal will receive two tickets to a Nationals baseball game.
  • Kids up to the age of five who register for summer reading will receive a Nationals/DC Public Library soft baseball. 

Washington Nationals players will visit neighborhood libraries to encourage young people to read. 

Research shows that students can lose close to two months of what they’ve learned in the previous school year when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.  Reading just 15 to 30 minutes every day is enough to prevent learing loss over the summer. In addition, new research released in May by Reading is Fundamental shows that students who are engaged in summer learning not only don't lose what they've learned, but are more likely to make gains in reading and are more likely to return to school in the fall ready for the next grade.

Starting this month and running through August, DCPL is offering more than 100 events tailored to early readers, children, and teens. This year’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story.” The Summer Reading program has three age-specific levels:

  • Children birth to age 5 and their parent or caregiver.
  • Children 6 to 12 years old.
  • Teens 13 to 19 years old.

To learn more about the Library’s summer reading program, visit your local library or online at dclibrary.org/summerreading.