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‘Explore Summer Reading program is all about celebrating the joy of reading for fun’

Ah, Summer! It’s time for flip-flops, popsicles, lazy days at the pool, and a break from school. It’s also time for Summer reading at your public library! We’re talking prizes for reading, fun weekly challenges and tons of events and activities all Summer long. And it’s all free, of course!

Before we get into the details, let’s talk about why Summer reading is so important to school-age students. Maybe you’ve heard of the “Summer slide”? It’s the learning loss that happens during the summer when kids and teens don’t read or participate in educational activities. But don’t worry, because public library Summer reading programs help combat Summer slide. Research shows that children who are engaged in Summer reading programs perform better academically when they return to school in the Fall. And the best part is that your kids and young adults get a quality experience at no cost.

Prince William Public Library’s Explore Summer Reading program is all about celebrating the joy of reading for fun by providing incentives along the way, and provides many educational and entertaining experiences that help foster a lifetime love of books and libraries. The program starts June 19 for all ages—infants through adults—by visiting any Prince William Public library location. Kids and young adults can also register online at And if you are concerned about that Summer camp or visit at grandma’s house, we have you covered. You only need to visit six times for your child or young adult to complete the entire program. You can register for Summer reading any time, even near the end, so no excuses!

How Explore Summer Reading works:
Kids, infants through entering 5th grade: Receive a Passport when you register for summer reading. Every time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll stamp your Passport. At two stamps, you’ll receive a free food coupon. Keep coming back and, at six stamps, you’ll get to pick out a brand-new book to keep! Plus, you can earn up to nine stamps to be entered into a grand prize drawing of a flipbook laptop.

Young adults, entering sixth through 12th grade: Receive a Punch Card when you register. Every time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll punch your Punch Card. At two punches, you’ll receive a free food coupon. And at six punches, you’ll receive more free food! You can also earn up to nine punches for extra entries into the grand prize drawing for a Beats by Dre® Pill+. Moreover, for each book review you write and post to our Explore Summer Reading website, you get another punch. We might even publish your review to our Goodreads page! (goodreads/com/pwpls).

Adults, 18+: And why should kids have all the fun? Adults can participate in Explore Summer Reading, too! You don’t even have to register. Whenever you come in to the library, fill out an entry form with the name of a book you’ve read. We will hold a drawing for a Target gift card at each of our eleven branches each week for all nine weeks of Summer reading.

Weekly Challenges: When you visit, be sure to participate in the Weekly Challenges. For each week of Summer reading, there will be a different challenge based on the theme of the week. It might be an interactive display, quiz, or coloring sheet—something easy but lots of fun. We’ll have challenges for kids, young adults, and adults. When you complete a challenge, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a prize. Prizes will be awarded at every branch every week of Summer reading for each age group, so there will be plenty of chances to win!

Events & Activities:
While our libraries have many free educational and entertaining events all year round, we really ramp it up during the summer! In addition to our regular programs, such as storytimes, we have special shows from performers all over the East Coast as well as unique presentations from local partners.

So come and join us to watch the library become a museum as Discovery Junction Museum sets up its interactive exhibits for all ages or learn all about the everyday lives of Marines and citizens during colonial times with the National Museum of the Marine Corps Revolutionary War trunk show. Steam Up your Summer with some great science activities or immerse yourself in Digeridoo Down Under’s high-energy, Australia-themed show that combines music, comedy, puppetry, and the digeridoo, an instrument that played by aboriginal Australians for over 1,500 years. We have reptiles, animals, music and theatre…”Beauty and the Beast” by Hampstead Stage Company.

The above programs are but a small sampling of the happenings at your Prince William Public Library this summer. For a complete calendar, plus admission information, visit our online calendar of events at or pick up a copy of our summer 2017 Explore magazine at any branch.

We’d love to see your photos! Tag us in your Explore Summer Reading fun at the library this summer using the hashtag #PWPLSsummer. You can find us on Facebook (/princewilliampubliclibraries), Instagram (@pwpls), Pinterest (/pwpls), and Twitter (@PrinceWMlibrary).

Let your journey through books begin!

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