School’s out for the summer, but the New York Public Library wants young people to know it’s always a good time to get lost in a book.
The library system is giving away 500,000 books for children and teenagers to New Yorkers this summer, CNN reports.
“Drop by one of our friendly neighborhood locations anytime to choose one of the new diverse books we’re giving to kids and teens, from birth through 18, to take home and keep forever,” the library says on its website. “A lifelong love of reading—and your own home library—[begins] with choosing your first book.”
The books on offer will include ones in Spanish and Chinese, as well as large-print editions. The library says it’s offering the program to “combat ‘summer slide’—when they forget what they learned in the summer months while outside the classroom.”
Brian Bannon, the library system’s director of branch libraries and education, said in a statement that “it’s critical…that our ecosystem of learning do all it can to support and engage” young people and families.”
“We are particularly excited about the book giveaway this year,” Bannon said. “There is evidence that being surrounded by books in one’s home positively impacts literacy levels, including kindergarten preparedness. So in addition to loaning millions of books, we are giving families the opportunity to keep titles in their homes, building their own learning libraries and a deeper connection with The New York Public Library.”
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.