Baltimore Orioles, Downtown Partnership, and the Maryland Science Center Partner With Maryland Public Libraries To Promote 2012 Summer Reading Program

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development and Services is kicking off the Statewide Summer Reading Program today throughout Maryland public libraries. The theme for this year, DREAM BIG, focuses on having hopes and dreams, and working to make them come true. Readers of all ages will have the opportunity to explore and create at the library.

Again this year, the Baltimore Orioles donated 40 free tickets to participating Maryland public libraries to encourage students to read throughout the summer. The Baltimore Orioles tickets are for August 6, a special library night at Camden Yards, where prior to the game, students will represent their county at a special on-field ceremony.

For the second year in a row, the Maryland Science Center has donated a family pack of four tickets to every Maryland public library branch, to visit the Maryland Science Center anytime during the year.

The Downtown Partnership, who provides and maintains the attractive flower and plant arrangements outside downtown buildings, also donated tickets for the following Baltimore attractions: the National Aquarium, the B & O Train Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Maryland Public Libraries also partnered with the Summer Meals Program, funded by USDA, which pays for summer meals for students who, during the school year, receive free and reduced price meals. The Summer Meals Program printed bookmarks to be distributed by the libraries, which explain the access sites for the program.

“This is an awesome opportunity for students to embrace reading during their summer break,” said Dr. Bernard J. Sandusky, Interim State Superintendent of Schools. “I’m proud that the Department is involved with the public libraries throughout Maryland to encourage our young people to read more and maintain their reading levels over the summer.”

Participation in the program is easy. Students choose their own reading material, such as books or magazines, and track their progress using reading logs available free of charge at Maryland public libraries. Last summer more than 150,000 children and teens in Maryland participated in the Summer Reading Program. The program is a collaborative project between the local public libraries, the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“For over 10 years, our division has sponsored the statewide Summer Reading Program. Having the support of the community sponsors, like the Baltimore Orioles, the Maryland Science Center, and the Downtown Partnership, encourages our students to maintain reading skills throughout the summer months,” said Irene M. Padilla, Assistant State Superintendent for Libraries.

Students may register for the Summer Reading Program at most Maryland Public Libraries. Check this website for your county’s information, mdsummerreading.org.

For more information, visit the Maryland State Department of Education’s website at http://www.MarylandPublicSchools.org/MSDE/divisions/library/.

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