6 Fantastic Ways Libraries Help Low-Income Kids in Your Communities to Experience the World Around Them


Libraries are uniquely qualified to connect children to resources, all while encouraging literacy and learning. Here are six innovative ways that kids are learning and growing via participation incentives:

  1. Ride a Roller Coaster: In Charlotte, NC children enrolled in the library’s  “Summer Break” program will be eligible to receive one Carowinds ticket for completing activities – which include meeting the reading requirements and 10 weeks of participation. Carowinds, a 400-acre theme park located on the border of North and South Carolina, is home to more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, including 13 world-class rollercoasters.
  2. Garden Gazing: In Media, PA residents can now take part in StoryWalk as part of the Longwood Gardens Community Read. StoryWalk is a children’s storybook that is spread out page by page across 18 reading stations along an approximately .25 mile trail that promotes health and literacy in children. At the end of the walk, participants scan a code to receive free admission to Longwood Gardens. Longwood Gardens consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows, and is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States.
  3. “Seas” the Day: In Baltimore, MD children in fifth grade and younger with a valid Enoch Pratt Free Library card can receive a Read to Reef bookmark and record the five aquatic- or conservation-themed books they read. Read five aquatic books, and receive four tickets to the National Aquarium! By connecting Baltimore youth’s love of reading to the aquatic world, the Aquarium hopes to drive awareness of issues facing our blue planet and the critical responsibility each of us has to protect it.
  4. Mission: Museums: In Chicago, IL your Public Library card gets you a whole lot more than a nearly unlimited supply of books and movies. Up to two adults accompanying and a child can get free museum passes for almost every popular museum in Chicago. This includes the Art Institute, Adler Planetarium, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and, of course, the Chicago Children’s Museum.
  5. Versatile Vending Machines: In New York City, NY there are six vending machines located throughout the five boroughs, all filled with free books. Children can take as many books as they want, without having to worry about returns. These awesome machines are part of the Soar With Reading program from Jet Blue. The idea is to promote reading for toddlers to 14-year-old readers, especially in under-served communities.
  6. Coats for Kids: All across the United States, Operation Warm is teaming up with public libraries to give a brand new coat and new books to each child who participates in our Warm Welcome to the Library Program. This engaging initiative provides an opportunity to introduce kids and families living in need to all that their library branch offers beyond books.

Interested in highlighting the amazing work of your local library AND providing brand new coats for kids in your community? We would love for you to join us as an Operation Warm Community Partner!

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