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Don’t be Part of the Summer Slide — READ!

Don’t be Part of the Summer Slide — READ!

 

Deidra Bowling-Meade

 

The Ashland Beacon

  



Did you know it is estimated that, on average, students lose two months of grade-level mathematical computation skills over the summer and can lose up to two months of reading achievement. A Scholastic report stated, “Researchers estimate that by the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a two-year lag in reading achievement. 32% of kids ages 15—17 said the number of books they read over the summer was zero, up sharply since 2016 (22%). The trend line among kids ages 9—11 also needs to be watched: the percentage who read zero books over the summer has doubled since 2016 (7% to 14%).” This loss of learning is known as the Summer Slide. It’s time we stop this downward slide and work together to develop summer reading habits that can combat the learning loss yet still make reading fun for all.

 

Author Kate DiCamillo once stated, “Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.”

 



Blazer High School English teacher, Tessa Spaulding, has three sons ages nine, seven and three who she makes a point to encourage to read. Spaulding commented, “As a teacher I know it’s important for kids to read over the summer, so they have a decreased chance of learning loss. As a parent — one that loves to read — it’s a nice feeling when we’re all sitting together on the couch reading our books. Even the baby will flip through one and narrate the story as he goes through the pages if it’s a book he’s very familiar with.”

 

Reading as a family builds a strong bond with one another. The boys love to pick out their own books. Spaulding shared, “We have quiet time at home at least three times a week where either I read to them or they read aloud to me.” Ronan is currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Raiden is reading level reader books such as National Geographic Kids and The Berenstain Bears and Remus likes the Little Golden Books right now along with books about Spider-Man, Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines.

 

The Spaulding family is enjoying their summer with fun in the pool, going to the zoo and playing outside; however, they still make reading fun and a priority. Reading isn’t a chore; reading is a gift shared by a mother and her three sons.    



 

How can you make reading an experience to remember? There are many fun, free resources available to help achieve a love for reading.

 

The Summer of Adventure program from PBS Kids also has free tools for families to encourage summer reading. The site includes hands-on activities and games supporting literacy, math, science, and fun. Visit https://www.pbs.org/parents/summer for more information.

 

Start With a Book (https://www.startwithabook.org/) and Reading is Fundamental (https://www.rif.org/literacy-central/summer) both offer online summer reading programs that include read-alouds of several popular books as well as hands-on reading activities. These are wonderful places to building a love for reading.

 

One of the best ways to make reading fun is to participate in the public library’s summer reading program. Boyd County Public Library began its summer reading program June 1, and it will continue through July 31. All readers are encouraged to join even if you don’t have a public library card. All participants, children-adults, automatically earn a certificate for a free personal pizza from Donatos simply for signing up for the summer reading program. Once registered, readers will track their reading progress online through Beanstack and earn rewards at each new level.

 

Adult readers who achieve five hours of reading earn a book light, 10 hours of reading earn a bag, 15 hours of reading earn a t-shirt, and 20 hours of reading earn a free book up to $30 in price.

 

Children can earn the following: five hours of reading earn Canteen, 10 hours of reading earn binoculars and safari hat, 15 hours of reading earn a t-shirt, and 20 hours of reading earn free book up to $30 in price. The first 600 children who complete their reading goal will also receive two tickets to Camden Park.

 

Readers can also add book reviews to share with others on the site and have friends join their reading challenges. Boyd County Public Library also has in-person activities throughout the summer. Getting a library card will give readers more free resources from Boyd County Public Library including e-books and audiobooks. Registration for summer reading, event information, obtaining a library card and getting access to the library catalog can be found on the website: thebookplace.org.


Accept the challenge and get serious about summer reading. Let’s change the statistics to show an increase in reading and a decrease in the summer slide.

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