Summer Reading Guide

In 2010, with the support of United Way of Lane County staff, community partners began Summer Reading Spots to address the alarming statistics around children’s literacy skills in Lane County. The program is a volunteer-led hour of free story time in the park and each child takes home a free book every time they attend.

This program thrived each summer due to the amazing community partners that were aligned with the goal of improving children’s literacy rates. Setting up camp at FOOD for Lane County Summer Food sites in addition to the Eugene, Springfield, and Cottage Grove public libraries support, we provided books and literacy opportunities to children in Lane County.

In 2017, due to an end of funds for an AmeriCorps VISTA, UWLC no longer had the capacity to continue hosting and coordinating the Summer Reading Spots program. However, we want to continue to empower communities to utilize what we have learned over the years, and to have the option to run their own unique summer reading programs that are tailored to fit each community’s needs.

This Summer Reading Program Guide toolkit does not suggest that this framework is the best or only way to run a summer reading program. Rather this information is meant to give individuals and organizations the building blocks of what is needed to be successful. By providing a framework to work from each program will be able to take these blocks to build something wonderful and meaningful for each community. It will be up to each individual site to decide what is going to best suit their specific needs, for each unique location and population.

If you have questions about the program guide, please contact us by email at

Download Summer Reading Program Guide