Milwaukee Public Library sets goal to enroll 25,000 young people in summer reading program

MILWAUKEE -- Research shows 15 minutes of reading a day can play a crucial role in a child's development. This summer, the Milwaukee Public Library is helping parents reach that goal, and build their own home library.

"We want the entire city to be talking about this," said Kelly Hughbanks with the Milwaukee Public Library.

14-month-old Sophia Riordan might be too young to sound out words, but her mom says she is developing pre-literary skills.

"Turning pages is one of her favorite things to do," said Sophia's mom, Briana Riordan.

The Super Reader Summer Reading Program encourages children to read or be read to every day during the summer. As part of the program, kids are asked to track their reading progress in a reading folder to earn incentives such as free food and free admission to many area attractions.

"When it comes time for them to read, they are going to have a base of knowledge that is going to prepare them to become a reader," said Hughbanks.

Without the basics at a young age, experts say children could struggle for years.

"If you've never read to a child and you wait until they go to kindergarten, a lot of times, those kids never catch up," said Hughbanks.

The library's goal is to enroll 25,000 children in its Super Reader Summer Reading Program.

The Super Reader Summer Reading Program is for children up to age 12. A library card is not required to participate, however, children completing first-grade and up are encouraged to get a free library card. Parents are encouraged to enroll children four and under and read to them daily.

The program ends August 29th.