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My Summer Library

Improving Third Grade Reading Proficiency

The My Summer Library program coordinated by the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona represents a targeted approach to reach children in Pima County and southern Arizona who attend elementary schools that are working to improve educational outcomes. The goals of My Summer Library are to improve 3rd-grade reading proficiency, build students’ home libraries and mitigate summer reading loss.

My Summer Library works to accomplish its goals by increasing access to free age-appropriate books for young students (prekindergarten to second grade) so they can build a home library, practice their literacy skills and develop a love of reading in the comfort of their home. My Summer Library also helps in mitigating summer learning loss. By making books available to keep in the home, developing literacy skills can continue through the summer break.

For more than ten years My Summer Library has played a large role in supporting the development of early literacy skills. Participating children have the opportunity to select their own books – an aspect research studies have shown that is highly successfully in supporting children’s interest in reading. When children can choose to read what interests them, they are more likely to want to read. Additionally, parent surveys reveal that 30% of participating children are bringing books home to keep for the first time. In these cases, My Summer Library represents the first opportunity these students and families have to experience books in the home that they can keep, free of charge. Research has shown that access to books in the home can foster the love the literacy and the early skills needed to become fluent readers later in the elementary years, especially for under-resourced families.

Become a Sponsor:

$50 – Sponsor one child with a full set of books

$500 – Sponsor a classroom with a full set of books

$1,500 – Sponsor a full grade level with a set of books

$3,000 – Sponsor an entire school with a set of books