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Summer Reading Club

June 5- July 31, 2022
Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, San Francisco Botanical Garden
Library Hours: Friday-Tuesday, 10am-4pm

Special Events: 

Summer Reading Kickoff - Sunday, June 5th, 2pm

Solve the Mystery Seeds! - Sunday, June 26th, 10:30am

Summer Reading Club FAQs

Teacher's Resource Collection

Why a Summer Reading Club?

Studies show that all children experience learning losses in the summer months if they don’t participate in educational activities. This learning deficit is known as the “summer slide.” Reading for fun helps children continue learning all year round. Our unique program was designed by the SFBG librarians and youth education staff to encourage literacy, curiosity, and physical activity. (For more information and the latest research, visit the National Summer Learning Association’s website at

How does it work?
The Summer Reading Club is an eight-week reading and activity program for children ages 0-12. Each child who registers receives a logbook containing weekly garden themes that encourage reading, physical activity, and nature exploration. When your child completes a week, bring their logbook to the library to have it stamped and receive free seeds. Kids who complete all eight weeks will receive a small prize when the program concludes. Kids may register at any point during June or July.


Who can join the Summer Reading Club? What if my child can’t yet read independently?
Children ages 0-12 may join the Summer Reading Club. If your child is not yet able to read books independently, they can be read to by adults or older kids. The stories and activities in the logbook are designed to stretch young minds while being fun for all ages.

Is it free?
Yes! The Summer Reading Club is free and so is use of the Library. Access to the Botanical Garden is free to San Francisco residents with proof of address. (The Garden is free for all visitors the second Tuesday of every month and daily from 7:30-9:00 am. See for full admission details.)

How many books do children need to read?
Participants should read at least one book and complete at least one non-book activity each week. Kids are encouraged to read more books and do more activities if they’d like.


Which books should participants read?
We’ve compiled a dynamic collection of nonfiction and fiction books of various reading levels for the “recommended reading” titles. These books are available in our library and the list is included in your child’s logbook. Your local public library also has many books that can satisfy the program’s reading themes.


How is progress tracked? Do children receive incentives for participating?
Every week when your child has completed a logbook page, they should show their logbook to one of our librarians. Their logbook will be stamped and they will receive several seeds to plant in the Children’s Garden or at home. At the end of the program, children who have completed all eight weeks will receive a small prize. Parents/guardians will receive (optional) biweekly email reminders from a librarian to help your family stay on track!

Can we check out books from the Helen Crocker Russell Library? Are you part of the SF Public Library?
Our library is open to the public but is not part of the SF Public Library system. Anyone is welcome to read library books on-site! SF Botanical Garden members can apply for a library card online or in-person. A Helen Crocker Russell Library card enables you to check out our children’s books and parent-teacher resource books.

When can we visit the Library?
The Library is open Friday-Tuesday, 10am-4pm. The Summer Reading Club is drop-in, so families can stop by any time during the Library’s open hours to read books and mark goals.


Do we need to visit the Library every week?
If your family can’t make it to the Library every week, that’s okay! Children should still track reading and activities in their logbook.

Contact us:
Call 415-661-1316 x403 or email [email protected]

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