Growing up, my mom made sure that my brothers and I were constantly busy during the summer—yes, I know she was motivated to get us out of the house, but I also know that she understood the benefit of keeping our brains engaged, even when school was out. My favorite place to visit was the library. I loved to sign up for reading contests, peruse the rows of books, and pick out new ones every week. I am incredibly grateful that my mom pushed me and my brothers to read; her determination to keep us learning year-round put us on the path to success.
Unfortunately, many children throughout Colorado lack summer reading opportunities and suffer from ‘summer slide,’ or a loss of knowledge they gained during the previous school year. As learning loss accumulates each year, students are more likely to fall behind and suffer from achievement gaps. In fact, the best predictor of summer learning gain or loss is the amount of time a child spends reading outside of school. At Stand for Children, we are committed to seeing every child succeed—in order for this to happen, it is critical that students stay engaged throughout the summer months. In an effort to improve early literacy and combat summer slide, Stand for Children is hosting a Summer Reading Fair to provide tips to parents and caregivers about how they can support their student’s reading skills.
To start, we have come up with 10 tips for supporting your child during the summer:
1. Make reading a daily routine. Encourage your child to spend at least 15 minutes reading or exploring the pages on their own.
2. Take your child to the library and check out a book. Most libraries have summer reading clubs and reading lists for kids of all ages. To find your nearest Denver Public Library branch, click here: https://www.denverlibrary.org/locations_map.
3. As a parent or caregiver, set a good example. Instead of watching TV, pick up a book—encourage your child to do the same.
4. Read aloud with your child at least 15 minutes every day.
5. Allow your child to read about topics that interest them. When your children are excited about reading, they are more likely to do it!
6. Listen to books on tape or learning programs in the car.
7. Play games in the car. Ask your child to find the alphabet with the letters they see on signs and license plates.
8. Start a “book club” for your child and their friends. Let them talk about the favorite books they are reading.
9. Before school closes, ask your teacher what you can do to help your child—learn more about their areas of strength and weakness so you can support them over the summer.
10. Writing is also important for your child’s reading skills. Encourage your child to practice writing the alphabet, their name, or their favorite subject.
Please join us for our Summer Reading Fair to find out about summer reading programs available to kids in the Denver community, and to learn how you can support your child’s reading year-round!