In the uncertain times of COVID-19, learning loss over the summer is more of a concern than ever for children and teens. The Seattle Public Library announced today that it has adapted its annual Summer of Learning program to meet public health guidelines while engaging as many Seattle children and teens as possible in reading and learning all summer long.

“Although most of this summer’s programs will be virtual, our children’s librarians, performing artists and partners are working hard to design flexible activities and challenges that center the interests of children and teens, while building confidence and skills,” said Josie Watanabe, managing librarian for Youth and Family Services. “This year’s rich programming reflects our city’s diverse cultures, and promotes school readiness in early learners.”

With a theme of “Every Day Is Earth Day,” Summer of Learning 2020 is an annual STEAM-focused program that reaches thousands of children with reading challenges, activities and free books. This year’s program includes:


  • Early learner action guide - Parents of pre-readers can download a 16-page activity guide for early learners in nine languages, with a range of ideas and inspiration for raising a reader, from animal alphabet cards to singing and science fun.
  • Reading log, teen Library challenge cards and printable activities on the website - Set a reading goal and track your progress! Children and families can download a reading log from the website now or pick up a card after June 22 at Seattle Public Schools meal sites and other locations around Seattle. The children’s reading log, which includes strategies for raising a reader, is translated into 10 language, and the teen challenge card will be translated into Spanish. Distribution of prizes will be determined by physical distancing guidelines.
  • Book distribution - Lack of physical books is a critical unmet need for many children. With a strong focus on equity, Library staff are working with community partners to distribute new books to children most in need. Partnerships include Reach Out and Read, a national program to reach children with books and literacy support through pediatric visits. The Library will distribute books and reading challenge cards to eight clinics associated with Reach Out and Read that serve families with a high need for book support.
  • Online STEAM, arts and story time fun - Want to learn magic, Brazilian drumming, soap carving or an accessible dance? Those are just a few examples of the short, action-oriented videos that Seattle-area performers and artists are creating to engage kids in learning activities that reflect the city’s rich cultural communities. Online summer programming will also include virtual story times, STEAM activities by children’s librarians, artists’ demonstrations and neighborhood scavenger hunts. The videos will be highly interactive, engaging children’s brains and bodies, often using everyday materials. All Summer of Learning programs will be listed on, and videos will be available on the Library’s Kids’ YouTube channel, starting on July 1.
  • Teen challenge - Middle and high schoolers can download a reading challenge card at Submit it by Aug. 24 to or post to social media with #SeattleLibraryTeens to be entered into our prize drawing. Fill out a square using audiobooks, articles, graphic novels, podcasts or fan fiction; get three squares in a row to win. You can also try filling out all nine squares! (A print version of the card will also be available at meal sites and other locations.)
  • Collaborative partnerships ­- Library staff will collaborate with Seattle Public Schools’ own summer learning program, with virtual field trips to the Woodland Park Zoo and art-making with Creative Advantage/Seattle ARTS. Kids and teens who fill out a log or challenge card can use it for free admission to the Burke Museum when it reopens. Find virtual museum activities at


More details about the Library’s Summer of Learning 2020 programs are available at; the program may change over the summer as public health guidelines evolve. Seattle Public Schools students can access all digital Library resources, including thousands of free e-books, through the Library Link partnership with Seattle Public Schools.

Adults can also get in on the summer reading fun. Download your Book Bingo card at to start filling in your challenge squares.



The 2020 Summer of Learning is sponsored by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, The Burke Museum, Seattle ARTS and Creative Advantage.

Library programs are free and open to the public. For more information about Summer of Learning, visit, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask Us. For ADA accommodations, please contact:

All physical locations of The Seattle Public Library are currently closed in accordance with public health guidelines. Find out more at