Summer Reading Program 2021

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Reading Colors Your World!

June 14 - July 31

Join the Salinas Public Library Summer Learning Challenge for fun, engaging, and FREE activities all summer long.  A variety of drop-in and registration-based programs will be offered through the summer to promote learning and exploration.  

Our Summer Learning Challenge includes: 

  • 7-week reading adventures 
  • Virtual programs  
  • Weekly take-home kits  
  • Book prizes 

You can track your progress online (click the button below), download, or  pickup a reading log at your nearby library. 

Claiming your prize(s)

If you have completed your 14 or 28 days of reading, you can visit any of our three library sites to claim your free book prize. You will be able to claim your books through August 13, 2021. Due to our limited service hours, you will be able to select from the following pick-up days and locations:

Cesar Chavez Library
615 Williams Rd.
Tuesday - Thursday from 2:00pm - 6:00pm
​Friday & Saturday from 10:00am - 2:00pm

El Gabilan Library 
1400 North Main Street
​Monday & Friday from 10:00am - 2:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday from 2:00pm - 6:00pm

John Steinbeck Library
350 Lincoln Avenue
​Monday & Friday from 10:00am - 2:00pm
​Tuesday - Thursday from 2:00pm - 6:00pm


Virtual Programs and Take-Home Activity Kits:


Virtual Programs

Toddler Tales: Calling all toddlers and their caregivers!  Come join us for virtual stories, songs, rhymes and fun.  This program is bilingual and guarantees a fun time for all.Recommended for ages 0-3. 

Tuesdays at 10am, June: 15, 22, 29  July 6, 13, 20, 27.

This program will be offered virtually through the online platform Zoom. 


Music & Movement: Join us for our Virtual Music and Movement program! Shake your sillies out in the comfort of your own home. Recommended for ages 0-5. 

Fridays at 10am, June 18, 25. July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

This program will be offered virtually through the online platform Zoom.   



Storytime at the Park (in-person):  What’s better than storytime?  Storytime in the park!  Gather your family and come listen to stories and sing some songs in the great outdoors.  Individual mats will be provided for seating and safe social distancing.  No registration required. Recommended for ages 3-8.  

Thursdays at 11 am,  June 17 (Central Park), June 24 (El Dorado Park), July 1 (Natividad Creek Park), July 8 (Central Park), July 15 (El Dorado Park), July 22 (Natividad Creek Park)

Drop-in, no registration required. 


The Tech Build Challenge:  This program is a series of DIY engineering and at-home activities that can be put together with inexpensive materials or objects you find around the house. Co-hosted by The Tech, formerly known as The Tech Museum, emphasizes the importance of developing engineering solutions that would be practical in real life.Recommended for children 6 and up.

Tuesdays at 3pm, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 13, July 20, July 27



Healthy Living: Join us for a 5 week virtual Nutrition Education Series class that will help prepare you to adopt a healthy lifestyle! You will also learn simple nutritious recipes to make on your own. From simple ways to eating healthy to understanding how to read nutrition labels. Recommended for Children Ages 10 and up. 

Wednesdays at 3pm,  June 16,  June 23, June 30, July 7, and July 14. 



Art Explorers: Art colors your world! Join us as we learn about the colorful lives and works of several famous artists. Each session, our budding artists will create an art project done in the style of the featured artist.  A kit with the necessary supplies will be available to pick up each week.  Registration is required on a weekly basis and will open one week before each session. Recommended for ages 5-10.  

This program will be offered virtually through the online platform Zoom. 

Tuesdays at 1 pm, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27. 

*July 6 Registration begins on June 14, 2021. 

*July 13 Registration opens on July 6, 2021.

*July 20 Registration opens on July 13, 2021.

*July 27 Registration opens on July 20, 2021. 


Graphic Novel Contest & Workshops: We love the combination of art and writing. Create your best original graphic novel or comic book and submit no more than fifteen page sample by July 21st. Winners will be selected on July 28th. Click HERE to get all the details. 

Prizes for winners in three categories: grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.  Submission Form    

Graphic Novel Interviews and Workshops

          June 9, 11:00am   |  Chris Grine, author and artist of Secrets of Camp Whatever and adapter of the Animorphs graphic novel (See the Interview HERE!) 

         June 11, 11:00am  |  Writer Jarod Pratt and artist Jey Odin, creators of Lemonade Code (See the Interview HERE!)

         June 16, 11:00am  |   Yehudi Mercado, author and illustrator of Fun Fun Fun World and Sci-Fu (See the Interview HERE!)

         June 23, 11:00am  |   J Torres, author of Brobots and Lola: A Ghost Story (See the Interview HERE!)


Intro to Coding With Ozobots:  Have you wanted to learn how to code, but weren’t sure where to start? Here’s a great place! Using Ozobot robots, we will work on the basics of coding through simple color programming. When the bot sees different color combinations, it figures out a new command. What can we make the Ozobots do? Dancing, navigating a path, let’s find out what else! Recommended for children 8-12 years old. 

This program runs June 29th, June 30th, and July 1st. 

Registration for the Ozobots event is closed due to reaching capacity.


Page Turner Summer Adventures 

Enjoy an array of online, on-demand virtual programs which include fun and engaging shows, crafts, author visits, virtual field trips, and more. Go to to take advantage of these great programs on your own schedule all summer long. 

Around the world in 80 books
Take your kids on a literary adventure and learn about new people, places, and cultures through a colorful world of children’s books.  This list of illustrated books selected by Salinas Public Library librarians will introduce children to epic journeys and adventures around the world. 
Find these books in our catalog here


Weekly Take-Home Kits 

Use your hands and imagination to assemble your own project creation.  We will supply the materials and instructional videos for you to follow along.
Take Home kits will be distributed on Thursdays at 2pm, starting on June 17, 2021.  

June 17:  Make Your Own Paper Mache Mask | Video Instructions 
Use glue and water to create your own paper mache mask. Paper mache is a fun and easy way to sculpt stunning and original designs.  You can be creative and create a super hero mask, a Halloween mask, or a completely imaginative mask. 

June 24:  Wind Chimes |
Decorate a small terra cotta pot, string it with colorful beads then hang it up in the wind. Once this project is complete, use the extra beads to make a bracelet and chalk the walk with the included chalk.  Recommended for ages 3 - 8.

July 1:  Electric Car |
Have fun assembling a DIY electric car using a DC motor, a battery, and two electric cables. This is a great STEM project for kids and young adults ages 6 and up. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

July 8:  Wooden Slice Painting |
Using acrylic paints, decorate a round slice of wood then hang it up for all to see Examples of several different styles will be included or you can choose to create you own work of art. You can also paint some rocks and even turn some into fun photo holders. Recommended for ages 3 - 8.

Free Summer Lunch Program | June 16 - July 30, 2021

Salinas Public Library is partnering with Alisal School District to provide Salinas children and teens free lunch throughout the summer. This program allows anyone under 18 to get a nutritious meal at no cost.  To minimize contact and maintain social distancing, only to-go meals will be available. Meals will be distributed at the following site:

Cesar Chavez Library
615 Williams Rd.
Mondays & Wednesdays
11:00am – 12:00pm

Lunch is served until supplies last.


Other Summer Programs:

Recreation Activity Kits 

Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County
Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County offer a variety of in-person and virtual programs. Visit