Here’s How KDL’s Summer Reading Program Will Work This Year: 5 Things You Need to Know

summer reading kent district library 2020

Grab Your Library Card — the Summer Reading Program at KDL is Back, with a Twist!

I’m a pretty laid back summer mom.

I let the break from school give us a chance to breathe and relax. But one thing I don’t let go of, even in this time of social distancing, is reading.

We’re going to be flexible this summer. Normally, we’d pack up and head off to our local library branch every week to participate in KDL’s fabulous Summer Reading Program, but this year we’re going to log on to get our Summer Reading fix.

What is changing this summer?

Kids and families can still all participate and we all still get rewarded just for signing up and reading, which is a huge win in my book.

One big change this year is that sign up and participation will happen online.

Kent District Library has operated the largest summer reading program in the state of Michigan for years and this year they’re going even bigger by adding a Summer Learning component. KDL’s 2020 summer program, Summer Wonder, focuses on science, technology, engineering, art, and math, otherwise known as STEAM learning.

This new at-home program blends reading, learning, and discovery for all ages. It takes everything you know and love from KDL’s typical Summer Reading program and makes it even bigger and better.

Stick with me to learn more about the new summer reading program at KDL.

You’ll find that…

  • It’s easy.
  • It’s fun.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s for all ages.
  • You can participate from anywhere.
  • And of course, there are plenty of prizes!

KDL Summer Reading 2020

Five things to know about how KDL is handling summer reading for 2020.

1) It’s STEAM-Powered

Expect to use simple household items to complete STEAM-based challenges, like making a telephone with paper cups, testing an aluminum foil boat, or building a sky-high cup tower as part of your summer learning adventure.

summer reading kent district library 2020

2) It’s a 30-Day Challenge

This 30-Day Challenge is called Summer Wonder and is for the whole family.

Participants can start logging their challenges on June 1, 2020.

The program runs through August 8.

It’s easy to participate – just use a paper log or go paper-free at to track your progress.

Mark off a day when you complete an aged-based activity (see below for ideas) listed in the log.

The challenge is divided up into the age groups outlined below.

LITTLE READERS: Birth to age 4
At this level, little readers are working on Success Basics and fostering those early literacy skills. Growing a bond between caregiver and child as well as giving caregivers new ways to engage with their little ones is a hallmark of the process. Here are some of the activities Little Readers can do during the challenge.

  • Read: Point to words and pictures as you read.
  • Talk: Go for a walk and point to objects you see, sing the ABCs.
  • Love: Snuggle, rock and have quiet time.
  • Play: Blow bubbles, roll a ball back and forth.
  • Count: Count fingers and toes, look for shapes at the store.

summer reading KDL little readers

YOUTH: Ages 5-10
These are the ages when kids need access to books and reading the most. KDL wants to make sure that kids do not lose ground in the reading gains they’ve made over the school year.

All of these activities will keep your child’s brain active and count toward completing the Youth 30-Day Challenge.

  • Read for at least 20 minutes. Choose from books, magazines, graphic novels, comics, and more.
  • Attend an online library program.
  • Write a story, a letter, a journal entry or check out one of the writing prompts.
  • Listen to an audiobook or have a book read to you.
  • Do one of the awesome and easy STEAM activities.

TEENS & ADULTS: Ages 11& up
KDL’s Summer Wonder is for everyone — accept the challenge! Make these activities part of your summer routine.

  • Read for at least 20 minutes. Choose from books, magazines, graphic novels, comics, and more.
  • Write a story, a letter, a journal entry, or a poem.
  • Listen to an audiobook or have a book read to you.
  • Do or explore something new (visit a new park, try a new recipe, go birdwatching, or try a new hobby.)

summer reading kent district library 2020

3) There are Prizes

When you meet your 30-day challenge, stop in to your local branch and turn in your completed log to receive a special prize.

Prizes may be picked up starting July 1 (pending library opening).

Little Readers will get a free book. Youth readers will get a prize that is to be announced. Teens and adults will receive a stainless-steel water bottle, available while supplies last. Adults will automatically become eligible for a chance to win a special prize basket.

All completers will be entered for a chance to win one of 16 $250 Meijer gift cards. The Meijer gift card drawing will be done Monday, Aug. 17. Once KDL has contacted the winners, the drawing results will be posted on Beanstack.

4) It’s Easy to Sign Up & Participate

KDL’s complete summer reading program can be found at This is where you can download the PDF tracker and find all of the information you need for the summer.

Specifically, you’ll be able to sign up online via Beanstack starting May 27, print out a PDF of the summer reading log, or pick up a paper form at your nearest KDL branch (after branches reopen).

Quick Links

To complete Summer Wonder, log all your 30-Day Challenge activities.

5) You Have Until August 8, 2020

Mark off a day on your tracker for each day you complete an aged-based activity listed in the log.

When you meet your 30-day challenge, beginning July 1, stop in to your local branch and turn in your completed log to receive a special prize. You have until August 8, 2020 to complete the challenge and earn your prize.

Make it KDL this Summer

We’re going to stick with KDL this summer.

Let’s face it — we all want to physically be IN the library this year but that’s not possible. Don’t fear, though – summer at KDL is not canceled and is more important now that ever.

Hennie Vaandrager, Youth Specialist for KDL, says

Our staff and performers have a great summer planned. From streaming shows from magician Tom Plunkard to STEAM activities, we hope people take advantage of the program.

Kids lose a significant amount of learning over the summer, and we anticipate the summer slide will be even steeper because kids have been out of school even longer. We know how important literacy is. This program gives caregivers the opportunity to engage with their kids.”

Yes, summer is different this year. But hang with KDL and you will still beat the summer slide and make memories with your family — all for free!

KDL would like to thank the many sponsors of Summer Wonder, including the Friends of the Cascade Library and the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library, who gave the lead gifts.

KDL Summer Reading 2020

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