The Summer Learning Challenge aims to keep kids engaged with fun activities, events and prizes.
Giants tickets, museum passes and other rewards await, including a chance to win a $1,000 college scholarship.
Students in the Summer Learning Challenge select books they want to read, not books they have to read.
Students in the Summer Learning Challenge select books they want to read, not books they have to read.
Carson hands a book to mother Vivien.
Carson hands a book to mother Vivien.
Puppet shows and performances help engage young learners.
Puppet shows and performances help engage young learners.
Libraries have books for all ages and all reading levels.
Libraries have books for all ages and all reading levels.
Little Carson Lum is too young to read his favorite book – “Hello Ninja” – on his own. But his love for the printed word has already landed him a $1,000 scholarship toward college.

“I thought he was too young to enter (the Summer Learning Challenge) but they said, “Nope. Sign him up,” said his mother, Vivien Loke of Millbrae. “They chose him as a scholarship winner and we have a picture of him with the mayor.”

College scholarships are just one of the prizes available to young children and students who participate in the 2017 Summer Learning Challenge, which kicks off June 1 and runs through August 31. Carson was a 2016 scholarship winner and mother Vivien says she'll be sure to sign him up again this year.

The Summer Learning Challenge is a fun -- and free -- way to engage children and students by challenging them to read as many books as possible and to explore new activities and ideas.

All 32 public libraries in San Mateo County from Daly City to East Palo Alto are participating. Young children and students can sign up at summerlearners.org, at any public library or when the Bookmobile comes your way.

Participants receive a free book just for signing up. 

In addition to an end-of-summer scholarship drawing, libraries will be host drawings for fun donated prizes such as Giants tickets, museum passes, gift cards and more for children who visit the library and attend activities, performances and events. 

Summer Learning Challenge activities and ideas for kindergartners through fifth graders:

These include performances and exhibits by Jungle JamesMariela Herrera Music Time and Didgeridoo Down Under.

And activities such as Fairytale Engineering with the Bay Area Discovery Museum, art classes, cooking and more. (All events, performances, exhibits and activities are free!)

It’s all in the name of fun but the Summer Learning Challenge offers the type of benefits parents appreciate: a halt to what’s known as the “summer slide,” or the loss in some of the achievement gains students made during the school year.

The Summer Learning Challenges receives approximately $366,000 annually in Measure K local sales tax funds to help pay for books, materials and outreach

Research confirms students perform, on average, one month behind where they left off in the spring. But not all students experience “average” losses.

The summer slide or summer learning loss disproportionately affects students from families with low incomes with limited access to enrichment summer camps, museums and travel. The slide is cumulative: by fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave students from low-income families 2½ to 3 years behind their peers.

In the coming weeks, parents and guardians will hear more about the Summer Learning Challenge as schools send home information with students.

“We know the Summer Learning Challenge can help kids and we're working to engage the kids who are most vulnerable to summer learning loss in the program," said Nicole Pasini, Deputy Director for the San Mateo County Libraries. “For many children, summer is really an untapped opportunity to engage children in reading and learning for fun.”

To get started, visit your local library!