By JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
Summer is here!
Children are free from the daily grind of school, of homework and schedules and text books.
Yet, the freedom from daily education comes at a cost. Summer reading loss or “summer setback” is a bigger problem than it appears. Their reading achievement typically declines an average of three months between June and September. This means that a summer reading loss of three months accumulates to a two-year gap by the time students are in middle school.
In West Virginia, state school superintendent Jorea Marple is challenging kids to keep learning this summer by reading.
Marple has issued a ReadWV Summer Reading Challenge in an effort to help children improve their reading abilities and to keep their academic skills sharp during the summer break.
“Reading well is one of the most important skills a child can possess,” Marple said. “Yet research tells us that young readers who don’t continue to read over the summer are likely to lose crucial skills. We cannot allow that to happen.”.
In Mingo County, several libraries are participating in “Dream Big - READ,” a program designed to encourage kids to read throughout the summer.
The program kicks off Monday, June 11 and runs through Friday, June 20, and is open to readers from preschool to high school. Sharon Starr with the Kermit Library said students visit the library once a week, check out books and keep a record of what they read over the summer.
“We have gifts and treats for them every week,” she explained. “At the end of the program, we have a party and a drawing.”
Some businesses are available that allow children to earn free books or other prizes when they log their reading. Websites outliniung the programs include include Scholastic - http://www.scholastic.com/summer, Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570, PBS/iVillage - http://www.ivillage.com/challenges/summerreading/signup and Pizza Hut: http://bookitprogram.com/SummerBreak/default.html..
“ReadWV reminds us how important it is for all of us to read every day,” Marple said. “I hope all West Virginia students participate in the ReadWV Summer Reading Challenge. I encourage everyone to share their photos and tweets with us at #ReadWV and at http://wvde.state.wv.us/forms/school-snapshots as we help children discover a passion for reading.”
For more information on the Mingo County summer reading program, call your local library, Delbarton 304 475-2749, Gilbert 304 664-8886, Matewan 304 426-6306 and Kermit 304 393-4553.