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The importance of summer reading - Mary Willingham

The Importance of Summer Reading - Read, Baby, Read!

During my parenting years, I struggled every summer to get my kids, especially my boys, to read books. As a reading and learning specialist, I was worried about “summer slide” - a decline in their reading ability. Studies indicate that students who don’t read during summer vacation see their reading abilities come to a screeching halt or worst, a decline. School administrators observe ‘slide’  when comparing students’ end of grade testing to beginning of year (August) pretests. Summer school can be helpful to prevent some slide but it’s not enough.

 

Read, Baby, Read!

 

The Delta has always been and remains home to many talented musicians. Any musician would tell you that if he/she stopped practicing for three months, they would find themselves rusty, out of tune, or even playing some wrong notes. The same is true with reading. It’s a skill that we improve on by doing more, not less. Read, Baby, Read!

 

Some ways to get your kids reading over the summer are:

 

1. Read with your children. Share books or read aloud taking turns. Plan a sweet tea and cookie party to discuss what you've read.

2. Incentivize reading with rewarded social activities or screen time.

3. Read travel books or travel websites together and plan real or imaginary vacations.

4. Go to the library once a week to pick out books, join in an activity or just for reading time.

5. Set summer reading goals. KIPP Delta is offering incentives such as free uniform shirts and sweaters for students.

6. Stop by the Cherry Street Fair - KIPP Delta table - on Saturday, July 8 from 5 - 8 p.m. to select a free book and cool down with a free ice pop.

 

Reading is a lot like throwing free throws on the basketball court  - the more you practice, the better you get at the skill. Good persistent readers are excellent students who tend to go further in school, become outstanding leaders and lead healthier and happier lives. Knowledge is Power. Read, Baby, Read!

 

Mary Willingham is the Regional Literacy Director at KIPP Delta Public Schools.

 

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