Summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas and not needed for farm work, to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the habit of reading.  Summer reading programs have continued to evolve.  We discuss the benefits of summer reading programs and local activities encouraging youth to read over the summer.  For example, this summer the Florida Department of Education is hosting the Summer Literacy Adventure Challenge; students can fill out his or her pledge at Summer Literacy Pledge. Following the summer break, the department will recognize the top 10 schools with the highest percentage of participation. The school whose students read the most books will receive a surprise visit from First Lady Ann Scott.  This is one example of many local Tampa Bay and Central Florida summer reading programs we’ll explore. Guest includes :Bethany Stone (Youth Services Manager, Orange County Public Library System), Wendy Feikert (Education Consultant from DeMuth Associates), Chancellor Hershel Lyons (Division of Public Schools, Florida Department of Education, Glenda Lammers, (Assistant Library Services Manager), Neighborhood Services Department Library Services, Manatee County Government