Free virtual reading club for first-graders to start next week

Parents looking to help boost social and emotional skills for their first-graders virtually can sign them up for a free online book club that’s starting next week.

The Young Readers Club, hosted by the Long Beach Public Library, is a small group reading club for first-grade children that will run from April 20 to May 27, meeting twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5 to 6 p.m. on Zoom.

Teen volunteers and library staff will read aloud to the kids and host activities and games centered around social and emotional skills. Cynthia Bautista, youth and family services coordinator for the library, said that they will be reading six different books, some of which include talking about feelings and self-awareness, building relationships and their future self.

The activities, including clay art, writing and building a paper rocket launcher, will be based on the books used in the club, she said. Kids will need to pick up a tote bag with all the books and supplies needed to participate after registering, she said.

Registration is required and space is limited. Because the club will take place on Zoom, internet access and a device with a camera and microphone is required. The club is open to any first-grader, whether or not they attend a Long Beach Unified School District school, Bautista said. The library also plans to run the club again in the fall.

To sign up for the Young Readers Club, click here.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at