This spring marks a very special milestone for the National Aquarium … they are celebrating 5 years of Read to Reef!

Five years, 63,000 books read, and thousands of Baltimore children celebrating their reading achievements at the National Aquarium mark this incredible milestone for the Read to Reef book club. The National Aquarium, in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library, is proud to celebrate five years and announce its return for the spring 2021 season.

The Read to Reef book club is an award-winning program connecting Baltimore children’s love of reading with the aquatic world. Beginning on March 8, families of Baltimore-area children fifth graders and younger can call any Enoch Pratt Free Library location to request a Read to Reef bookmark and pick it up at that location. Participants may request bookmarks through March 31, while supplies last. After reading any five aquatic or conservation-themed books, the reader’s family can enter the code on the bookmark through the Aquarium’s online ticketing portal to make a reservation and receive free admission for up to four guests through June 27, 2021.

“After five years, my favorite part is seeing the pride on children’s faces as they enter the Aquarium with their family, knowing it is their achievement that brought them on this adventure,” said Jenny Hamilton, director of community partnership strategy, National Aquarium. “Through this partnership we are able to not only encourage Baltimore students’ love of reading, but also inspire our ocean planet’s next generation of hopeful conservationists.”

“We are so proud to offer the Read to Reef book club yet again and celebrate this amazing milestone,” says Pratt Library President & CEO Heidi Daniel. “This partnership helps instill the love of learning in young children by letting them experience at the National Aquarium all that they are reading about in our aquatic and conservation themed books at the Pratt Library.”

Since the program launched in 2016, more than 45,000 Baltimore-area young readers and their families have visited the National Aquarium free of charge after participating in the Read to Reef book club.

Enoch Pratt Free Library is also hosting two Read-to-Reef virtual events this March! Join them for virtual story time on March 10 at 4 PM or for Kid Writers LIVE: Jess Keating on March 18th at 6 PM.


Editor’s Note: This article is a press release from The National Aquarium. The original article was updated on February 26th to reflect the program’s new start date: March 8th. This delayed start is due to Enoch Pratt getting ready for reopening.