Adirondack Kids® Blogs

Protecting our Children from the Summer Slide!

Hurricane Irene had become a tropical storm by the time it reached the Adirondacks, but it still managed to create and expand new slides on mountains throughout the high peaks region.

I’ll never forget hiking one of the slides with my sister-in-law and one of my best friends not long after the storm. Consider the scale as you look for them in the photograph!

The damage was massive. It was impossible to imagine what it must have been like the day it happened. The roar. The trees twisted and snapped like toothpicks along with boulders and rocks crashing downward finally resting in random heaps of rubble. The mountainside stripped bare.

It’s the time of year again when our children and grandchildren who have been working hard to ascend the mountain of academic success are about to enter the danger zone that has come to be known as the Summer Slide. It begins when students are released from school in June until they re-enter school in September.

Research has shown that children who read during the summer have the best chance of maintaining elevation when returning from vacation – but those who do not read have already fallen victim to the slide.

 “The adage ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it,” proves true for children who spend a summer without books and reading. Without reading role models and someone to read to them, without printed material, and without new experiences, the reading skills grow rusty and waste away.” Jim Trelease, author of The Read-aloud Handbook in brochure, Summer Reading

And here is Deimosa Webber-Bey, Scholastic Senior Librarian & Manager, Library Services*:

 “Summer reading is critical to student success; it allows kids to seamlessly build upon what they are learning from one year to the next. When kids don’t read over the summer, they are at risk of entering the next grade level having lost important momentum and key academic skills from the previous school year over break.”

*The Summer Reading Imperative, is the third installment of the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 7th Edition, 2019. Page 2  https://www.scholastic.com/readingreport/home.html

In its research, Scholastic discovered among strategies parents employ who are aware of the Summer Slide include library visits, packing books on vacations, limiting screen time, purchasing books from book clubs and fairs, establishing a daily reading routine,  participation in reading programs, shopping for books, and reading the same book with their children and discussing them. The Summer Reading Imperative, pg. 8

Because Justin and I write series books, we were happy to see an additional strategy used by parents was to find a book series that might resonate with their children with the knowledge that there would be more books to read.

Research has also shown “reading books in a series increases the amount a child reads, which increases fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.” Bernice E. Cullinan in Read to Me: Raising Kids Who Love to Read, page 126

When we learned research has also shown that reading 4 – 6 chapter books during the summer is enough to alleviate this summer loss**, we created an annual offer with 4 – 6 of our chapter books on special to help our readers avoid the Summer Slide. ** Jim Trelease, author of the Read-Aloud Handbook, Summer Brochure

The Avoid the Summer Slide special begins right now (June 14, 2019) and runs through midnight on June 30, 2019!  On-line only! Look for these special codes on our website store – CODE: AVOIDTHESLIDE4 or AVOIDTHESLIDE6

Happy Summer! Happy Reading! Happy Climbing!

© 2019 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.

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