Avoiding the 2018 summer slide

Published 8:55 pm Friday, June 8, 2018

School has been out for only a couple of days and some of you are probably hearing this already or you may hear it soon: “Mom, I’m bored. Mom there is nothing to do.” Your children may be hearing this from you: “put down the cell phone, turn off the TV, stop texting, read a book”.

Yes, please read a book. Students do need to read during the summer to avoid the phenomenon sometimes referred to as summer slide. One study concluded that on average, students achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning. If they read at least six age appropriate books during the summer break, they will return to school in the fall and be ready to pick up where they left off and move forward.

This summer make reading fun. Let your child’s interest guide his or her reading choices. If they have a hobby, find books related to that hobby or research a new hobby. If you or your child do not have a library card, summer is a great time to get one. There are a myriad of reading materials available at the library. Our local libraries, LaGrange Memorial and Hogansville Library, also provide free summer reading programs. The theme this year is “Libraries Rock.” There will be a program every Wednesday in LaGrange at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Hogansville through July 24. You can register at the library or online. For those that cannot get to the library, “Get Georgia Reading” is offering a free reading program online through the site MyOn.com. To log onto the site use the following: School name, GetGeorgiaReading; username, troupcounty and password is read. This site has audio and can highlight words as you read.

Jungle Jama and Reading Ranger will be traveling around in the Jungle Bus this summer providing books for children to take home.

There are several “Little Free Libraries” around town that are stocked with books for children to read. They are located at Granger playground, on Lafayette Square, McCluskey Tennis Center, Twin Cedars and Lincoln Street.

Reading is vital for developing literacy, a good vocabulary and a vivid imagination.

Children who are spoken to and read to most often will develop a large vocabulary of words. Research also shows that children learn better when an adult is involved.

So parents, listen to your own words, “put down that cell phone, turn off the TV, stop texting” and read a book with your child. You can keep them off the summer slide.

Debbie Burdett is the Executive Director of the Troup County Certified Literate Community Program