The National Aquarium, in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library System, is pleased to announce the return of the Read to Reef Book Club this fall following the success of its inaugural season. The Read to Reef Book Club offers free admission to the National Aquarium for any child up to fifth grade with a Pratt Library card who participates in the reading program.
The program debuted last February, and served thousands in the Baltimore area. More than 2,700 children joined the program, collectively reading 13,500 books about the aquatic world. As a result, 6,986 guests were welcomed to the Aquarium for free.
“It is never too early to begin teaching our children the importance of a healthy ocean and our duty to protect it,” said John Racanelli, National Aquarium CEO. “The Enoch Pratt Library is a treasure in this community, and the National Aquarium is privileged to partner with them to promote reading and conservation education through the Reed to Reef program.”
The program is slated to return October 1, 2016. Children in fifth grade and below who have a Pratt Library card are eligible to join the Read to Reef Book Club. Throughout the month of October, readers can visit their local Pratt Library branch to receive a bookmark, while supplies last, and a booklist that suggests aquatic/conservation-themed books to read. Once participants have read five books, they can present their completed bookmark onsite at the National Aquarium to receive admission for the child and up to three guests.
“We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from library patrons across Baltimore, so we are eager to have the Read to Reef program return for a second season,” said Ellen Riordan, Pratt Library’s Chief of Planning, Programs and Partnerships. “This program keeps families reading together throughout the year, which is critical to student development.”
Vouchers must be used by December 29, 2016, and blackout dates apply. For more information about the upcoming Read to Reef Book Club season, visit aqua.org/read.
In celebration of this partnership, the Aquarium is set to present award-winning picture book author Susan Stockdale at the 2016 Baltimore Book Festival on September 24. Stockdale’s book, Bring on the Birds, is one of the reading selections featured in the Read to Reef Book Club. She will present at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage at 1 p.m.
Children and parents who are interested in applying for a Pratt Library card may visit http://www.prattlibrary.org/services/librarycards/ for more information.
As part of the Aquarium’s commitment to the community, the organization offers numerous programs through the year including Half-Price Friday Nights, presented by M&T Bank; Dollar Days; Maryland Mornings; and Pay What You Want Day, made possible with the generous support of T. Rowe Price. For more information on these National Aquarium programs, visit aqua.org/youraquarium.