Summer reading programs fill ‘summer learning gap’

It’s critical kids keep reading during the summer, especially when first learning to read; kids who don’t read during the summer start school year behind

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.

“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 just kicked off its annual Summer Reading Program on June 5.

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. The Summer Reading Program lasts from June 5 through Aug. 7.

Kids age 11 and younger will take part in the “Make a splash at your library” reading program, while youth age 12-18 will take part in the “Make waves” program and adults ages 18 and older will take part in the “Dive into reading at your library” reading program.

MAKE A SPLASH AT YOUR LIBRARY 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.

MAKE WAVES AT YOUR LIBRARY DETAILS:

Teens who read for five hours each week will be entered into a weekly prize drawing. After teens read for 10 hours, they will receive a prize, and for 20 total reading hours, they will receive a book as well as be entered into the grand prize drawing.

DIVE INTO READING AT YOUR LIBRARY DETAILS:

After registering online or in person at any of Henderson Libraries’ six locations, adults 18 and older read books and then complete an online form rating the book on a structured scale. Each submission enters the participant into the weekly drawing at each branch, and non-winning entries are carried over to the following weeks.  There will be grand prize drawings at the end of the program. Patrons can also complete the online database scavenger hunt or participate in one of the summer program’s events which will also count as a drawing entry.

All participants in the Summer Reading Program who did not already sign up at the kickoff event can sign up by visiting one of the six Henderson Libraries locations or by visiting www.mypubliclibrary.com.

Established in 1943 as a single library in Downtown Henderson, Henderson Libraries operates six locations throughout Henderson. Henderson Libraries cooperates with other public libraries in Southern Nevada, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Clark County School District and all other libraries around the state to provide quality service for Nevada’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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