Bright Futures Summer Reading Opportunities: Reaching Underserved Children

Bright Futures "Reaching Underserved Children" is an OPT IN program. See an archived webinar about this program and other Bright Futures programs here.

There are many children and teens that do not participate in summer library programs because they are not aware of the opportunity or because they are not able to get to the library during the summer. This program allows librarians to reach out to these kids in the community, and encourage them to continue reading over the summer months.

Desired Outcome:

Children will maintain their reading achievement skills over the summer with support from Idaho libraries.

Program Objectives:

  • Public library staff engage hard-to-reach students in reading activities that occur out in the community.
  • Public library staff communicate the importance of maintaining a consistent reading routine over the summer months.

Nuts and Bolts:

  • Partner with one or more agencies or organizations in your community. Together with your partner organization, plan at least one outreach program in June, July and/or August that target underserved children*.
  • Receive paperback books suitable for audience to be given away to children birth through teens attending the off-site program.
  • You'll also receive summer reading bookmarks containing information about why kids should keep reading over the summer. 

*Underserved children include those living in poverty, English language learners, children reading below grade-level, children living in rural areas, or children unable to use the library, such as those in childcare or those who do not have transportation to the library.

Optional: "Little Libraries" Component

If you are doing outreach at the same location over the course of several weeks, ICfL has a new program that provides “Little Libraries” starter kits and additional materials and curriculum support, based on the Literacy in the Park model. See more information...

Libraries that wish to participate in the Reaching Underserved Children program must apply by March 20 and agree to the following terms:

  1. Track the number of outreach events and number of children attending events for Summer Reading Report.
    To help you track statistics consider using this DATA TRACKING SHEET.
  2. The library must formally evaluate its summer reading program. See for sample surveys and more about formal evaluation.

Apply by March 20. (application opens January 12.) Supplies are limited!

New for 2015: Applications will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis and priority will be given to libraries who will track the number of children (birth to 18) who read a minimum of 10 books or 10 hours. See more information about this component. 

You will need the following when you apply:

  1. Name of community partner(s)
  2. Date(s) and location(s) of your off-site program(s)
  3. Number and ages of children you plan to serve (birth - teens)


More summer reading resources...

Return to the main Summer Reading page.

Institute of Museum and Library Services logoFunding for this program is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, under a provision of the Library Services and Technology Act.