Thanks to the generosity of the Discover Summer donors, the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library was able to offer another summer full of learning and fun to kids and their families. This year’s Discover Summer program featured free activity booklets, Take & Make kits, early literacy calendars for parents, Storytime at Home videos on YouTube, summer meals, and prizes. This year’s activity booklets were created with the help of 12 community partner organizations such as The Cincinnati Museum Center and YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.
Discover Summer created more than 105,000 educational interactions with children of all ages. Elementary students represented the largest growth in participants, with at least 66% more participating in fun and engaging activities than in 2020. Preschoolers and their families also grew their participation by more than 35% over 2020. In total, 34,000 activity booklets were distributed, with 22,000 new books and more than 13,000 prizes distributed to youth during the two-month program.
In Northside, the Library held multiple outreach events at CAIN (Churches Active In Northside), Northside Farmers Market, Chase Elementary, Parker Woods Elementary, Winton Hills Academy, McKie Recreation Center, Winton Hills Head Start, Millvale Head Start, Camp Washington Head Start, and Bethlehem Temple Daycare.
“Because of the pandemic we had to think outside the box, so we did things like videotaping our storytimes, holding outside class visits for summer school, creating numerous Take & Makes, and presenting outdoor programs,” said Marni Blanken, Children’s Librarian at the Northside Branch. “The customers and partner organizations were very appreciative of our efforts. We interacted with many people who didn’t use the library and received great feedback on how to better serve them.”
"We are grateful the library has provided books and activity kits for children and parents visiting our pantry this year. It’s been wonderful getting books, some even in Spanish, to families that might not otherwise visit the library," said Melissa Meyer, Executive Director, CAIN.
“Sponsors are an essential part of our annual Discover Summer program. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to continue to offer families a way to keep their children, of all ages, on the path of learning and increasing important literacy skills,” said Staci Dennison, the Thomas W. Jones Executive Director of The Library Foundation.
Sponsors include The Library Foundation of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Friends of the Public Library, Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation, H.B, E.W. & F.R. Luther Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. Carl A. Huether, Western & Southern Financial Fund, Duke Energy Foundation, Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation, Maxwell C. Weaver Foundation, Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, FC Cincinnati, Frisch’s, Taft Museum of Art, and United Dairy Farmers.
For more information about The Library Foundation, go to Foundation.CincinnatiLibrary.org/ways-to-support/donate/.