First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom launched a five-week summer reading challenge which includes some anti-racism books.

According to a press release, it’s designed to keep California’s families learning and engaged by “checking out” their community libraries.

“With children distance learning for the past few months and many summer activities canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, summer reading is more important than ever.”

-Jennifer Newsom

“California’s library summer reading programs are a great way for parents to keep their children engaged, entertained and learning all summer long,” she added.

The challenge encourages families to sign up for their local libraries’ summer reading programs and track the books they’re reading. It also encourages readers to share their progress on social media using the hashtag #CASummerReading.

 The challenge will culminate with a live Facebook story time with the First Partner on July 10th at 10:00 a.m.

What Do We Have To Do?

The First Partner’s five-week Summer Reading Challenge consists of five activities:

Week 1: Sign up for your local library’s summer reading program online. California’s libraries have moved summer reading programs online so that families can participate even while social distancing.

 Week 2: Choose your first book and start reading. For each new book you read, take a picture and tag #CASummerReading. The Newsom family will be choosing books from the Sacramento Public Library’s “antiracist reading list”, and encourages other families to turn to their public libraries for similar resources.

Week 3: Create something to contribute to California COVID Diaries, a community history archive launched last week by the California State Library. Californians of all ages are invited to submit stories, journal entries, poems, artwork, photographs, and other forms of expression documenting their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Week 4: Take part in an activity through your local library and join the First Partner’s Facebook Live storytime. All summer, local libraries are hosting online activities from virtual storytimes to craft projects. You can complete this challenge by partaking in one of these activities or watching the First Partner’s Facebook Live storytime on July 10th at 10:00 a.m

Week 5: Is a chance to share your favorite new book and keep reading.


Greg Lucas said, “Becoming a stronger reader is the best way for someone to succeed – in school, at work, and in life. The best place to find something great to read is at your local library.”

Lucas is a California State librarian.

 “And while every time is a good time to read – it’s even better in the summer,” she added. 


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