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Storytime GR offers readers the perfect summer getaway in the pages of a book

Grand Rapids' community-wide summer reading program is underway.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids' community-wide summer reading program is now underway with a new name and a new way of promoting literacy during the summer months. 

Formerly known as “Storytime in the Park,” this is the 11th year for the program.  The COVID-19 pandemic made the original concept of gathering in city parks impossible, so Storytime GR continues to encourage reading without the crowds.  

First off, Rockford Construction is helping to build a dozen so-called “book pantries” around the city, where kids can find new books that portray different languages and ethnicities.  The program also involves new book giveaways and food distribution events at several locations throughout the city. And finally, it engages local celebrities to record themselves reading their favorite children's books.  Those virtual storytimes will be made available on You Tube.

All of this is to keep kids reading during the summer months when reading skills are often lost to "summer slide," that drop-off of skills that so often happens when kids are away from the classroom. 

You can check out Storytime Gr’s Facebook page for events and book pantry locations at www.facebook.org/storytimegr.

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