Kids Summer Reading

How do you spell summer reading? J-O-Y! We’re getting back to basics this summer, inspiring kids to rediscover joy in reading and learning.

Reading Colors Your World

Summer reading is here!

Knowing that books help us through tough times, we’re focusing on the joy of reading. Kids ages 3 through rising ninth graders can sign up. And for younger kids, check out 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Like last year, you’ll sign up and track reading and challenges through Beanstack, a digital platform that’s accessible by app and web browser. Also like last year, kids earn prizes and beads for their participation.

Watch the videos below—available in three languages—for an overview of Reading Colors Your World and keep reading for more details!

English
español
français
  • How does it work? Everything is online. Click the button below to register and track your reading and activities.
  • Who can participate? Everyone age 3 through rising 9th graders.
  • When does the virtual program run? All summer long, through August 31.
  • Where do we track progress? From wherever you are, log in to Beanstack using a web browser and/or the Beanstack Tracker app (available on iOS and Android) to track progress in reading and activities.
  • Can we get a printable list of all the activities? Download and print a list (PDF) »

New! Summer reading adventures

All month long, Miss Shelley and Miss Jenny are exploring nature and some of the awesome summer reading activities you can do to earn beads this summer in a seven-part video series!

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 1): Human Nature

Can you guess where Miss Shelley and Miss Jenny are this month? We’re exploring nature and some of the awesome summer reading activities you can do to earn beads this summer! Ruthie picked an activity from the Orange section, all about stories, and found a really cool sculpture!

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 2): Yellow

Today, Miss Jenny and Miss Shelley are playing with music! What will you use to create music in nature?

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 3): Orange

Miss Jenny heard a story about the arboretum from her mom and is ready to share it with you, while Miss Shelley looks for stories in the clouds. What kind of stories do you like to tell?

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 4): Blue

Miss Shelley and Miss Jenny need a break! We’re exploring nature and some of the awesome summer reading activities you can do to earn beads this summer—like finding unusual places to read. There are lots of different ways to rest your mind and body. Sometimes you want to move, and sometimes you just want to sit. How will you take a break today?

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 5): Green

There are so many different gardens at the Morton Arboretum! We’re exploring nature and some of the awesome summer reading activities you can do to earn beads this summer—like finding unusual places to read. Which garden do you want to read in?

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 6): Purple

Miss Jenny and Miss Shelley are on a shape hunt! We’re exploring nature and some of the awesome summer reading activities you can do to earn beads this summer—like finding an unusual place to read. Which shape would you like to read in?

Summer Reading Adventure (Part 7): Red

Miss Shelley loves getting to share adventures with all of you! Good mood boards, like from the red badge, are a great way to practice retelling your day, which is telling a story! What summer adventures do you want to tell us about? Share your photos and videos »

Title suggestions, by age & grade

Need book recommendations? Check out our title suggestions—many of which can be checked out digitally through Hoopla or Media on Demand & Libby with your Oak Park library card—for ages 3 through rising ninth graders.

Don’t have an Oak Park account? Get a card, sign up for instant digital access »

Share how reading colors your world

How’s summer reading going for you? We’d love to see!

FAQs

How do I register my child?

Click on the “Register now & track progress” button above to access Beanstack, an easy-to-use online tracking system. Adults can register themselves and multiple children under one username and password.

Can I also sign up my child for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

Yes! Kids ages three through rising kindergarteners can track their reading in Beanstack and get credit for Reading Colors Your World and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, a year-long and ongoing program for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

What is Beanstack?

Beanstack Tracker logo

Beanstack is an easy-to-use online platform where you can track your reading and activities. Download the Beanstack Tracker app—available for iOS and Android—to your mobile device for convenient registration and logging.

How do kids earn virtual badges and prizes?

There are over 120 activities in six different categories. Kids ages 3 and up who finish at least five activities in one category get a pouch of beads. Finish five activities in all six categories and get a super special bead. Read for 10 or 20 hours and get more beads! (Reading is part of the six categories, too.)

You can pick up beads at the Main Library (including the outdoor lockers), Maze Branch Library, or Dole Branch Library, or have them mailed out of town.

How do I change my prize pickup option?

You can change your prize pickup option using Beanstack in your web browser or in the Beanstack app. Please be sure to select the correct prize pickup option for each participant in the family.

  • Using Beanstack in your web browser: After you sign in, click on the reader’s name in the upper right. Then select the pencil icon. Pickup options are found under “Basic Information.”
  • In the Beanstack app: Tap the settings icon in the top right, then click on Readers, and update each readers’ pickup option individually.

Why should my child participate?

Research has shown that kids who read over the summer keep their skills sharp and are better prepared for school in the fall, while recent research adds that kids who choose their own summer reading books lose even fewer skills over the summer. That makes summer the perfect time to help kids develop their own preferences and explore new and familiar genres at their own pace. When kids love what they read, they’ll love reading—now and in the future.

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