The National Aquarium and Enoch Pratt Free Library are once again teaming up to offer Baltimore students and their families the chance to read their way to the Aquarium. October 1 marks the return of Read to Reef, an award-winning program that connects Baltimore students’ love of reading with the wonders of the world’s aquatic treasures.

Beginning October 1, Baltimore-area children in fifth grade and younger with a Pratt Library card can receive a special bookmark from their local Pratt Library (while supplies last). Participants may request bookmarks through October, or while supplies last. After reading any five aquatic or conservation-themed books, students 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 January 16, 2023.

The fall 2022 Read to Reef booklist includes titles suitable for children of all reading levels—from children who have not yet learned to read to older students looking to learn more about the wonders of our blue planet. This year’s booklist includes titles like “Hidden Habitats: Water” by Lily Murray, “Agua, Agüita/Water, Little Water” by Jorge Tetl Argueta and “Wow in the World: Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals” by co-authors Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz.

“Reading can open a gateway to a world of possibilities for children and their families, and the Read to Reef book club is a great way for them to discover a love of learning about the ocean and environment,” said National Aquarium Community Programs Manager Sarah Doccolo. “When a child learns about an animal or habitat they read about in a Read to Reef book, it is so rewarding to see the pride and wonder on their faces as they visit the National Aquarium with their families and learn new ways to love and protect those animals and habitats. We are proud to partner with Enoch Pratt Free Library to offer Baltimore students the chance to experience this full-circle moment for themselves.”

Readers and their families will have the opportunity to meet author Mindy Thomas and receive a free, signed copy of “Wow in the World: Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals” at Enoch Pratt’s Meet the Author! event on October 22.

“The Pratt Library is thrilled to again partner with the National Aquarium on the Read to Reef Book Club,” said Enoch Free Library President and CEO Heidi Daniel. “It’s a magical moment to see a child’s face light up when they read books about the ocean and then get to step foot into a world-class Aquarium right here in our city. This innovative partnership opens up a world of possibilities for our young people and can help develop a lifelong love of learning.”

Since the program’s inception in 2016, 15,246 Baltimore-area students have read more than 76,230 books. Each of these students earned a free trip to explore the Aquarium with their families, totaling 54,787 tickets.


Editor’s Note: This article is from a press release. Photos courtesy of National Aquarium.