The La Porte County Public Library understands the importance of promoting reading throughout the year, especially during the summer months, for youth. During the summer, educational achievement can either be gained or lost for students. This loss, otherwise known as the “summer slide,” is a very real problem facing our students. Indiana is certainly feeling its negative effects. In fact, according to The National Assessment Of Educational Progress (NAEP), between 2017 and 2019, Indiana experienced a significant negative score change in assessments of students in NAEP reading.
Ben Firke, in an article for Homeroom, the official blog for the U.S. Department of Education, further elaborates on the problems surrounding the summer slide. He states that “studies indicate that students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline. This effect becomes more pronounced as students get older and advance through the school system.”
Helping Your Child Be Successful
We all want to see our children do well. Reading is one of the most important skills that they need to be competent and successful adults in our world. Fighting the summer slide seems like a huge challenge. However, little steps to encourage reading make an incredible difference in defeating this problem. For example, Firke highlights that “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.” Choices and options matter to children! They can choose what they read – graphic novels, picture books, magazines. As long as they are reading! Forcing children to read something that does not interest them all the time does more harm than good during the summer.
Reading engagement is key to promoting reading success throughout the year, and especially over the summer. Firke offers a few other suggestions on ways to help encourage even the most reluctant readers to spend some time reading!
- “Encourage your children to read books they enjoy for at least 30 minutes per day. Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves than material that is forced on them.
- Provide incentives for reluctant readers. For example, if your child enjoys basketball, agree to take them to the local court if they do their “daily reading.”
- Make reading a social act. Establish a time during the day when all members of the family gather and read on their own, or take turns reading the same book aloud.
- Connect your reading to family outings. If you take your kids to an aquarium, consider reading a book about fish or the ocean with them later that day. The outing can help place the reading into a broader context.”
The La Porte County Public Library is here to help you and your family prevent the summer slide. Register for the Summer Reading Program. We have some great events planned to help encourage reading engagement amongst community members of all ages! Please check out our calendar of events and stop by any of our locations for more suggestions as to how you can help your child be a happy and avid reader!