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Column: Don’t Let Reading Take the Summer Slide

APRIL DILLON
Guest Columnist

Some parents might say their two favorite days of the year are the first day of school and the last day of school. With the last day of school, parents and children may feel like they can take a vacation – not a family trip, but a vacation from homework, school projects and studying. What they do not realize is that this three-month vacation from academics can cause children to lose months of learning.
Researchers often refer to summer learning loss as the “summer slide.” The National Summer Learning Association states that approximately two months, or 22 percent of the school year, is lost over the summer. Also, lower-income youth experience greater summer learning losses than middle and higher-income youth.
James Kim, assistant professor of education at Harvard University, has researched the different approaches to summer reading. Youth need guidance selecting books appropriate to their reading levels and matching their interests.
Combine activities with a book. Read the book behind the movie you go out to see. Draw pictures of what they have read to re-enact the story.
Make books accessible. Visit the library and check out library summer reading programs.
Set a good example and read books, newspapers and magazines in front of your child and talk to them about what you have read.
Talk about the books your child is reading. Ask them questions about the story. Ask them to summarize the story.
Set aside a reading time, perhaps at the end of the day or to begin your day.
Lincoln County 4-H Reading Makes ¢ent$ Program will combine the love of reading and understanding money. The program is for youth ages 8 to 10 and will be held on June 23-27, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the 4-H office in Lincolnton. Registration is required. More information may be found at the website: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2014-4-H-Summer-Ventures-Program.pdf
Lincoln County Public Library Fizz Boom Read Program kicked off on June 10. Programs are for grades 1-5 and 6-12. Registration is available at: www.mylincolnlibrary.org.
Barnes and Noble – Kids Earn a Free Book! Print a summer reading journal from their website: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570/. Read eight books and redeem your reading journal for a free book!
Feed, Lead, Read will provide a free healthy breakfast, morning exercise and reading time with mentors and youth at Messiah United Methodist Church on June 20, 25, 27 and July 11, 18, 25, and 29 from 9-10 a.m. for students who attend Union Elementary School. The program is led by West Lincoln students Mason McConnell, Chase Costner and Karsen Leonhardt.
April B. Dillon is extension agent for 4-H and Youth Development with the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension.

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