Mayor Launches Free-Book Program for Low-Income Kids

This afternoon, Mayor Nutter announced the launch of Playstreet Book Club, a pilot program that aims to keep children from low-income families reading while they’re out of school for summer.

“We know that children, particularly low-income children, can lose up to two months of reading skills during the summer, putting them behind before the new school year begins,” Mayor Nutter says in a press release. “By providing children with free books to read during the summer, we hope to instill a lifelong love of reading, help them to build their own libraries at home and give them the skills they to be successful in the classroom. … We know that children need access to nutritious meals, enriching activities and supportive adults all year long in order to reach their full potential. The Playstreet Book Club connects children to all three of these elements at one location during the summer months.”

Playstreet Book Club is available at select USDA-funded free summer meal sites around the City. It works like this: Children enter the program and are guided through by a “Foster Grandparent,” who assesses their reading level and then provides them five free, take-home books. Then, over the course of four weeks, the Foster Grandparent will return to the site to host literacy activities and provide assistance as kids devour their new page-turners. During week five, the Grandparent will administer another reading test to gauge progress.

The Playstreet Book Club is administered by Fun Safe Philly Summer, which was created by Mayor Nutter in 2012 to provide Philadelphia youth access to summer opportunities, meals and employment. The program was created in partnership with Foster Grandparents, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Nutritional Development Services among others. For more information about participating locations, call 1-855-252-6325 or visit