by Jeannie Timken, NHCS Digital Teaching & Learning Specialist
Research shows that when students read over the summer, they come back to school better prepared for the challenges of a new school year. In fact, reading just five books during summer break can altogether prevent the “summer slide,” – a regression of reading ability that can occur over the summer months. The US Department of Education offers the following tips to help students maintain healthy reading lives over the summer:
Let your child choose what they want to read – or be read to – for 30 minutes each day. Children are much more likely to engage in material that interests them rather than materials that are forced on them.
Use language and reading opportunities throughout the day. Talk often with your child and point out reading materials wherever possible: on menus, magazines and newspapers, signs, brochures, maps, guidebooks, smartphones, ipads, etc.
Make daily reading a social event. Get the whole family to join in with their own books or take turns reading the same book aloud. Include telling stories as well.
Connect reading to other summer events. If you take your child to the zoo, think about reading a book about animals before and afterward. This will place your child’s reading within a larger context.
Make reading a lifestyle choice. Keep books all around the house to cultivate an atmosphere of reading, and set an example by reading yourself. Children need good models of reading books, magazines, or newspapers.
Once again, New Hanover County Schools will host summer library programs at FIVE sites across the district this summer to help parents engage their NHCS students in various types of reading as well as other creative and critical thinking activities. The NHCS Summer Library Program runs from Monday, June 25th through Wednesday, August 1st. This year, the following schools are opening their libraries on dates throughout that window.
- Alderman Elementary
- Anderson Elementary
- Blair Elementary
- Pine Valley Elementary
- Trask Middle
Students at participating sites received a personal invitation that included the dates and times of when their school’s library will be open; however, ANY NHCS student is allowed to participate in any program and checkout/return materials at any of the other participating locations. NO registration is required. Simply check out the calendar to find out what sites are open and make plans to attend! In addition to checking out reading materials, each location will host a variety of programs that include:
Coding and robotics
Reading with service animals
Walking through an interactive Story Garden
Augmented & Virtual Reality experiences
- ….and many other digital & “unplugged” activities
Please visit the NHCS Summer Reading Program website for a complete schedule and calendar of events. We look forward to seeing you this summer!