Taking a “break” from learning during the summer months is hazardous to a student’s education. According to the National Summer Learning Association more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning activities. Here, in no particular order, are nine tips for grown ups to help kids on the path to success:
Visit the library and let kids pick out their own books. They are the best experts about what they like.
Sign up for the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.
Be a reading role model. (At a loss for what to read? Check out what KPL staff are reading and recommending. I also adore The Cyberlibrarian Reads, which is a blog by a retired librarian, lifelong reader, and local Kalamazoo resident, Miriam Downey.)
Read as a family.
Talk to kids about what they are reading and what you are reading.
Visit the Bookbug, an independent bookstore located at Oakwood Plaza. Stop down on any Thursday at 10am for All-Ages Storytime, Songs and Activities. Consider playing “Where’s Waldo?” with them in July.
Check out this terrific list of summer reading recommendations that Kalamazoo Public School staff have compiled for students of all ages.
If you missed Julie Mack’s piece in which she shares five strategies Superintendent Michael Rice suggests parents adopt to help build their child’s reading skills over the summer, you can find it here.
I must mention that as I’m writing this post, my freshly graduated second grader just peered over my shoulder and asked what I am working on. When I told him I was putting together a list for ways grownups can help kids this summer he said, “Just remind everybody that it is fun to read. And make sure you capitalize it all: IT IS FUN TO READ!”
So there you have it, have some fun. READ!