Summer vacation is a great time to be a kid. It is great to have time to relax and hang out, with friends and family, at home and in the sun. It is also important to keep your kid’s reading skills fresh over the next three months. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “at best, students show little or no academic growth over summer. At worst, students lose one to three months of learning.” Summer Reading can go a long way to minimize summer learning loss and can even improve a child’s reading skills.
Every summer, educational organizations like The New York State Educational Department and the American Library Association (ALA) encourage students of all ages to continue reading over summer break. This is no new concept, since, according to the ALA, the first summer reading programs began in the 1890s. The local NOPL Libraries of Cicero, Brewerton, and North Syracuse play their part in this movement.
NOPL Children’s librarians Suzanne Nelson, Nicole Hershberger, Wanda Nelson work hard to help children maintain the reading skills learned during a school year. The idea is to get them reading for fun, about things that interest them, from books and magazines that they choose. “Reading is a wonderful complement to the active fun of fair weather activities,” says Cynthia Bishop, former Children’s librarian at NOPL @ N. Syracuse, “children can be transported to imaginary worlds, realistic or fantastic, where they can escape or explore lives and worlds unlike their own.” Kids who read for fun become better readers over time, and do better in school than kids who don’t read for fun.
Through NOPL’s Summer Reading Program, children are given important opportunities to associate reading with positive experiences, increasing their likeliness to continue reading and learning on their own.