By Margaret Woodruff, Library Director
Getting ready for summer and reading!
Why is summer reading important?
Summer is an important time for students to keep reading and improving their language skills. If your child hasn’t been reading regularly this summer, they may be in danger of the “summer slide”—a decline in their reading ability.
Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or who read infrequently during summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline. This effect becomes more pronounced as students get older and advance through the school system. The situation for economically disadvantaged students is especially grim: if students from low-income families don’t read over the summer, they are much more likely to fall behind their more privileged peers, widening the “achievement gap.”
“It’s like if you play an instrument but put it down for three months,” said Laurie Calvert, a teacher who is working as the Director of Teacher Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education. She wrote an academic thesis on improving summer reading programs at her North Carolina high school. “You’re not going to be as good as a person who continues to play the instrument over those three months.”
However, this “summer slide” can be avoided by ensuring that children are as engaged as possible in whatever they choose to read—just as long as they’re reading every day.
“Anything that keeps students reading works,” Calvert said. “The more engaged you are in the text, the closer you’re going to read it. The closer you read it, the more you comprehend. And that process grows your skill.”
(From U.S. Department of Education)
Good Tips for Fun & Constructive Reading
- Point out print in the child’s environment: on cereal boxes, food labels, toys, restaurants and traffic signs.
- Sing songs, say short poems or nursery rhymes and play rhyming words games with your child.
- Tell stories to your child.
- Read aloud to your child. Point to the words on the page as you read.
- Read a short passage several times to your child until your child can read it with you. Then encourage your child to read the passage to you.
- Encourage older children to read with younger children.
- Encourage your child to read (or pretend read) to you. Make this reading enjoyable. Don’t worry if your child does not read all of the words correctly; instead, applaud your child’s efforts to read.
- Go to the library together.
- Have books, magazines and newspapers around the house. Let your child see you reading.
- Encourage your child to write messages such as grocery lists, to-do lists, postcards or short messages to family members or friends. Don’t worry about conventional spelling at this point; instead, encourage your child’s first efforts at authorship.
- When watching television, have the captioning feature enabled so that the children view the words while hearing them performed aloud.
(From CSLP website)
Upcoming at the Library
Fridays at 10:30a.m. Friday Free for All. Stories, songs and fun. We’ll explore the great outdoors this month, as the weather permits. For ages 3-5 who are comfortable in a story time setting.
Monday, June 19, at 10:009 a.m. Mystery Book Group. This month we read Louise Penny’s first Inspector Gamache novel, Still Life. Join us for coffee and conversation about our introduction to the village of Three Pines and the captivating case of characters. Copies of the book available at the circulation desk to check out.
Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m., starting June 20. Reading Fun at Adam’s Berry Farm. Meet us at the farm for a summer of berries, great stories, gardening and busy activities. All ages are welcome.
Wednesday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. Berry Farm Book Club. Share a sample of food-related reading and discussion while enjoying a potluck of local food and drink at Adam’s Berry Farm. We begin with Changing Season: A Father, a Daughter and a Family Farm, by David Mas Masumoto and Nikiko Masumoto. Book excerpts and video available at the circulation desk.
Tuesday, June 27, at 1:00 p.m. Summer Reading Kick-Off. Learn how raptors build their habitats in this hands-on session with Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Sign up for summer reading activities and get ready to read! For all ages.
Check out our summer program flyer for more info about upcoming programs for adults and kids.