Big summer read

This is an image of a young girl at the library

BIG Summer Read

A Victorian State-Wide Reading Program | 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022

The summer school holidays are a time for kids to enjoy a break away from school and indulge in a less structured, relaxed lifestyle with family and friends. While this is vitally important to their overall development and mental wellbeing, research has shown that kids can actually lose some of the literacy skills they gained during the year and start the next year at a disadvantage. It is called the Summer Slide and we see it all around the world. The answer to slowing this ‘slide’ is simple, and it does not involve more school work over the summer!

Kids just need to keep reading and be read to.

Summer is the perfect time for children to indulge in books and stories and read for pleasure.

This is where our libraries come in!

The BIG Summer Read has been developed by Public Libraries Victoria in a joint effort to raise awareness of the benefits of reading over summer and to ensure Victorian children have access to resources proven to slow the slide. Together we are aiming to engage 10,000 children in the program! Will you join in?


Kids are encouraged to keep reading over the summer holidays with an incentivised program that uses Beanstack, a mobile app that rewards you for reading. When reading milestones are reached, kids earn ‘badges’ for their Beanstack profile and increase their chances of winning a prize! Participants need to log a minimum of 10 books and collect 5 activity badges in order to complete the challenge. All badges will be released at the start of the program and can be completed at any time.

When does it start?

The program starts Wednesday 1 December 2021 and ends on Friday 31 January 2022.

What is the intended age range for the BIG Summer Read?

Primary-school aged children, but if parents/carers want to sign-up a pre-schooler or teenager that is fine too.

What are the prizes?

This year, the prizes for Yarra Plenty Regional Library members who sign up and participate in Big Summer Read are:

  • A writing/storytelling workshop for 20 children with Idan Ben-Barak, author of Do not lick this bookArgh! There's a skeleton inside you!, and  We go way back.
  • A screen printing and bag making workshop for 20 children with Tegan from Thomastown Library.
  • A 3D design and create workshop for 20 children with Scott from Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub.
  • More prizes to be revealed in the coming weeks!

For this year’s grand incentive prizes to encourage borrowing library books and reading, there will be several film screenings at special YPRL outdoor pop-up cinemas at Diamond Valley Library, Mill Park Library, and Ivanhoe Library and Community Hub all throughout January 2022. To receive a ticket to a screening, children need to borrow a book (either on the day of the screening or prior to the screening) and are encouraged to sign up for the Big Summer Read. For more details about the screenings, keep your eye out for event details on our website and in our libraries!

Will there be a paper-based alternative for those unable to use technology?

Yes – you can pick up a simple paper version at a library branch and return it when completed to be included in the prize draw.

What safeguards are in place to protect users’ privacy?

Beanstack’s servers are US-based, and to safeguard users’ privacy we are asking for the bare minimum of personal information: email, name (an alias is acceptable), age and library service.
Read Beanstack’s privacy policy to learn more about how they handle users’ personal information and what they use/don’t use it for.

Terms and Conditions

Library members participating in the BIG Summer Read must be under the age of 18, reside in Victoria and must be able to collect their prize from a Yarra Plenty Regional Library branch.
Prizes will not be awarded to anyone who does not meet the eligibility criteria.

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  • Wednesday, 01 December 2021 | 12:00 AM - Monday, 31 January 2022 | 11:59 PM
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