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Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Public Library Service partner to kick off Summer Reading Program across the state

Events will raise awareness of the importance of summer reading, as GaDOE and partners also donate 100,000 books

CONTACT Meghan Frick, GA Department of Education, 404-463-4246,
Deborah Hakes, Georgia Public Library Service, 404-852-5547,

May 24, 2018When students don’t read during the summer months, they lose educational ground: research shows that students can lose up to three months of reading ability over the summer. This phenomenon – known as the summer slide – can lower achievement potential and widen the achievement gap. The effect is more pronounced as students get older, and for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

“For many families, a public library is the only community space available where they can access free educational and cultural enrichment activities during the summer months,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “Georgia’s public libraries have a robust Summer Reading Program in every county.”

The Georgia Department of Education is supporting this initiative by collaborating with Georgia Public Library Service on Summer Reading Program kickoff events across the state and distributing approximately 100,000 books to students. The latter is possible thanks to Better World Books, which donated gently used and age-appropriate reading material, and Action Ministries, which assisted with storage and logistics.

“Having access to books and educational opportunities during the summer months is so important to a student’s long-term literacy skills,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We’re committed to taking action to make sure Georgia students have those opportunities. From hosting events with Georgia’s public libraries to giving away free books all over the state -- none of this could be done without our partners. I deeply appreciate the work of the Georgia Public Library Service, Better World Books, and Action Ministries on behalf of Georgia’s kids.”

Attend a Summer Reading Program kickoff event

GaDOE and Georgia Public Library Service will participate in Summer Reading Program kickoff events at four public libraries throughout the state. Members of the public are encouraged to attend these events, which will feature summer reading activities and programming along with an opportunity to receive free books.


  • Wednesday, May 30, at 10 a.m. at the Mary Vinson Memorial Library featuring Sing! with Wendy Bennett, 151 S Jefferson ST SE Milledgeville, Georgia, 31061.
  • Monday, June 4, at 12:30 p.m. at the Dodge County Library featuring musician Charlie Williams, 531 2nd Ave, Eastman, GA 31023
  • Monday, June 11, at 10:30 a.m., at the Coweta County Central Library featuring Dr. Magical Balloons, 85 Literary Ln, Newnan, GA 30265.
  • Tuesday, June 12, at 10 a.m. at the Harlem Branch Library featuring the Chad Crews Magic Show, 145 N Louisville St, Harlem, GA 30814.




The Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) empowers libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians by encouraging reading, literacy and education through the continuing support and improvement of our public libraries. GPLS is a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.


Led by State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is the state agency serving Georgia’s K-12 public school districts, schools, and students. GaDOE’s strategic plan emphasizes transforming the agency into one that provides meaningful support to schools and districts, with an emphasis on child-focused, classroom-centered education policy. GaDOE staff work to ensure that the nearly 1.8 million students in Georgia’s public schools receive a holistic education that focuses on the whole child, and graduate ready to learn, ready to live, and ready to lead.