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Library Foundation

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles provides critical support to the Los Angeles Public Library resulting in free programs, resources, and services available to the millions of adults, children, and youth of Los Angeles.

The Problem

Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading while their higher-income peers make slight gains. Most youth lose about two months of math skills in the summer. These reading and math losses add up. By fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave low-income students 2 1/2 to 3 years behind their peers. Low-income youth lose access to healthy meals over the summer. Six out of every seven students who receive free- and reduced-price lunches lose access to them when school lets out.

The Effects

The serious risks that summer poses for low-income youth has consequences that extend beyond the classroom, lowering chances of high school graduation and workforce success (Annie E. Casey, 2010). This data presents serious risks for low-income children who are among the least proficient readers (Annie E. Casey, 2010).

The Barriers

During the school year, students learn at similar rates. Over the summer, however, those students who do not have access to learning opportunities fall behind.

The Solution

Summer at the Library will give youth of all ages increased access to learning-rich programming across the 73-library system. Summer at the Library consists of three main components: (1) a reading and activity challenge, (2) public programming designed specifically for young children, tweens, teens, and families, and (3) a Summer Lunch program at select libraries that delivers free meals to any child up to 18 years of age.

The Library will present over 1,450 educational workshops, performances, and events to 50,000+ children, tweens, teens, and parents. 35,000 youth will officially enroll in the program, logging reading hours and participating in Library activities. This summer, the Library will double the number of events taking place at its 73 citywide locations compared any other two-month period during the year. The increase in learning opportunities is a direct response to the need that families have for free and enriching educational programming during the summer break.

Summer at the Library provides youth with direct access to fun and enriching educational programming, the Library's extensive collection of materials and resources, and community. The program provides youth with the limitless opportunity to explore their imaginations and curiosities, and an environment where they will be celebrated and rewarded for exercising their minds.