Department of Defense Summer Reading Program Logs More Than 11 Million Minutes

Sep 23, 2011, 10:40 ET from Navy General Library Program

"A Midsummer Knight's Read" enchants young readers at military libraries worldwide

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The second annual coordinated summer reading program hosted by military libraries logged more than 11 million minutes spent reading by children and families worldwide as part of "A Midsummer Knight's Read." About 250 base libraries featured programs ranging from medieval storytelling parties to Library Dragon Bingo to jester hat-making craft projects.

"The program was so helpful for my son," said one parent from the Joint Base Anacostia Bolling. "He improved his reading skills, is recognizing more words and is reading to everybody. The program was excellent!" More than 400 children and young adults participated in the base's program.

"We are thrilled with the enthusiasm and growing participation in the DoD-wide program," said Nilya Carrato, Program Assistant, Navy General Library Program. "Families are excited to have high-quality programming that is consistent from base to base, and librarians are glad to have a strong theme and shared resources."

The SHAPE International Library in Belgium doubled its registration from the previous two summers. "American parents loved the fact that this program could be found at bases around the world, so leant an air of familiarity as their families settled in to a new environment," said SHAPE librarian Linda Rothstein.

"The Summer Program was the perfect opportunity for me to share my love of reading with my children," said one Air Force parent. "It's also a way to stop summer brain drain."

Some researchers estimate 50 to 67 percent of the achievement gap for children living in poverty and for children of color is the result of summer learning loss. Summer reading programs can help to offset this loss, because studies also indicate students who read recreationally out-perform those who don't.

"This was such a great motivator!" raved one Army parent.  "I caught (my son) reading all on his own yesterday, and he never does that!  Thanks for offering the program and the prizes."

"The Summer Reading Program was wonderful, and the kids loved it!" said a parent at the Cherry Point (NC) Marine Corps Air Station. "The facility was well organized, user friendly and the staff amazing." About 530 children, teens and adults registered for the Cherry Point reading program.

"A Midsummer Knight's Read" is sponsored by the Department of Defense MWR Library Programs with content developed by iRead. For more information on base library resources for families, please call Nilya Carrato at 202-433-0785 or email  Photographs and artwork available by emailing

Contacts: Nilya Carrato, 202.433.0785

Larra Clark, 773.412.1853

SOURCE Navy General Library Program