Let’s be honest. Sometimes summer vacation doesn’t feel like a vacation. With different sports teams, camps, hangouts, and the other things life throws our way in the summer, participating in a Summer Reading program can seem like the straw that just might break that camel’s back. However, very few summer activities have as much influence on a child’s academic success in the following school year, and in the future. Here’s the breakdown:
- The “Summer Slide”-- It’s estimated that over summer break students lose up to a month of instruction. This loss is cumulative. In the fall, other children move forward with skills, therefore there is no “catching up”. By the end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer are two years behind their classmates.
- As schools close for the summer, a child’s primary resources for learning and reading materials can be no longer available. So, come to the Library! Summer Reading programs provide all kinds of engaging learning opportunities. As a Library, we’re here to help. Differences in out-of-school access to books, positive reading practices, and connections with institutions that are supportive of self-discovery and reading, account for much of the disparity in student academic success, which has a cascading effect as children grow and develop.
- Studies show that children that read more, read better; they also write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and better control of grammar. Communication skills are imperative to success in the future.
- The keys to a continuing interest in reading are positive reading experiences. For a reluctant reader, this can be difficult to remedy. Summer Reading programs show that reading can be fun, and is not just for school.
- Using and engaging with different formats (print books, e-books, audiobooks, etc.) is encouraged. This can make the difference when it comes to showing the fun and value of reading. Reading happens in many forms, and it just takes one book to make a reader.
- Summer Reading programs allow children to choose the books themselves and explore their interests. This is paramount when encouraging children to read. No one likes to do things they don’t like and aren’t interested in, and reading a book you don’t like is especially a bummer. With Summer Reading this is never an issue. A child’s natural curiosity is nurtured by reading.
- Something that is hard to come by these days are family activities that have no cost. And Summer Reading is free! There are only gains from Summer Reading.
Bottom line, Summer Reading programs are important. They bring communities together, create stronger family bonds, encourage creativity and learning for people of all ages, and are a great way to spend time. Harness the opportunity of summer. Even if participating in a Summer Reading program in its entirety isn’t feasible for your schedule, sign up anyways. Any reading is worthwhile, and will make a world of difference in your child’s life.
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