Summer reading programs fill ‘summer learning gap’

This is first summer CCSD won’t offer year-round school; it’s critical kids keep reading during the summer, especially when first learning to read

HENDERSON, Nev.While it can be pretty exciting for kids to leave behind homework and waking up early when the school year ends, it’s critical parents make sure their child’s education and development isn’t forgotten altogether over the next three months.

According to “The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement,” a study conducted by Beth M. Miller, Ph.D. and commissioned by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, children who do not read during the summer often lose a portion of what they learned the previous school year, making it necessary for them to catch up during the first couple of months of the new school year. This compounds over time and adds up to a lag of two or more years in reading achievement during the elementary years.

Bridging the summer reading gap is even more important inClarkCountythis year, as the school district no longer offers year-round K-5 schooling.

“To bridge the gap in a child’s education, it’s important they continue to read during the summer,” said Tom Fay, executive director for Henderson Libraries, which will kick off its annual Summer Reading Program Saturday, June 11.

In fact, it’s proven that children who participate in summer reading programs consistently perform at or above grade level, as opposed to children who don’t participate in summer reading programs. Summer reading programs help participants improve in reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling and grammatical development.

Furthermore, data from Baltimore’s Beginning School Study, reported by Karl Alexander and Doris Entwisle (1996), shows that the academic gap between rich and poor children in elementary school develops mainly during the summer. Educational summertime activities, such as library reading programs, stimulate learning habits and help to eliminate this social difference in achievement. Summer programs are most successful when they involve a variety of activities that make learning and reading fun for both kids and parents.

Taking this into consideration, Henderson Libraries’ annual Summer Reading Program offers fun activities, themed programs and incentives for children, teens and adults throughout the summer. In response to participant feedback, this year’s program will last longer than previous years’ summer reading programs. The Summer Reading Program lasts from June 11 through Aug. 27.

All six of Henderson Libraries’ locations are taking part in the summer reading program, which has something to offer for all ages. This year’s theme is “Travel Around the World.” Each age group has a theme as well. Those are: “One World, Many Stories” (children), a geography-themed “You are Here” (teens) and “Novel Destinations” (adult).

‘ONE WORLD, MANY STORIES’ DETAILS:
While reading is rewarding all year long, children who participate in the summer reading program will receive prizes after reading for five, 10, 15 and 20 hours.

‘YOU ARE HERE’ DETAILS:
Teens who read for two hours each week will be entered into a weekly prize drawing. After teens read for 20 total hours, they will receive a book.

‘NOVEL DESTINATIONS’ DETAILS:
After registering online or in person at any of Henderson Libraries’ six locations, adults 18 and older can read and keep track of their progress online. This year adults will record the time they spend reading, rather than the number of books they’ve read. Any reading counts – reading traditional books as well as ebooks, listening to audiobooks, and even reading to your children. Each submission enters the participant into the weekly drawing at each branch, and non-winning entries are carried over to the following weeks. Prizes this year are donated by a variety of Nevadabusinesses including Egg Works, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, the Eureka Casino Resort, Super Mex Restaurant and Cantina, and the Village Pub. The adult program will also include a writing contest and a photography contest.

“Summer reading programs are typically associated with kids, but, in fact, they offer a fun way for people of all ages to keep busy during the summer months,” Fay said.

Henderson Libraries’ summer reading program will kick off Saturday, June 11, at 9 a.m. at theHendersonEventsPlaza– located at200 S. Water St.in downtownHenderson. The kickoff event will last until 1 p.m. The event will feature free activities including a bounce house, games, community booths and much more. 

The theme for this year’s kickoff is “Multiculturalism.” The library is looking for groups or businesses who would like to host a booth at the event.  There is no cost to host a booth. Groups representing a unique heritage or culture are especially encouraged to take part.

At the kickoff, children and adults alike can sign up to take part in Henderson Libraries’ summer reading program.

Established in 1943 as a single library in Downtown Henderson, Henderson Libraries operates six locations throughoutHenderson. Henderson Libraries cooperates with other public libraries in Southern Nevada, the Nevada System of Higher Education, theClarkCountySchool Districtand all other libraries around the state to provide quality service forNevada’s residents.

For additional information on Henderson Libraries and/or its Summer Reading Program, visit www.mypubliclibrary.com or call 702-492-6581.

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