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Slide Prevention – Summer Reading

By: Gayle Schmuhl, District Library Media Specialist at Berea City Schools

The weather gets warmers, the days longer, and summer vacation begins. Research shows that summer vacation creates the “slide” in reading achievement for our students especially the ones who are struggling. What can a school librarian do to encourage students to read this summer?

Here are few top 10 tricks to try with your school community:

1. Visit ALA’s Summer Reading Programs website to learn about best practices, outreach and programming, summer reading lists and much more.

2. View the webinar, “Summer Reading Raves” from INFOhio presented by Elaine Fultz, District Library Media Specialist, Madison Local, describing up-to-date books to include on summer reading lists, or share with book clubs.

3. Investigate Biblionasium, this website allows school librarians to create another twist on summer reading by designing different types of reading challenges for students, track reading goals, award virtual prizes and create a library of books for students to read.

4. Consider teaming up with your local public librarians and get your students involved in their summer reading programs.

5. Write a short article for your school’s newsletter about the importance of summer reading for parents.

6. Tweet suggestions during the summer to your students and their parents to encourage reading.

7. Post reading ideas during the summer on Facebook or other social media sites.

8. Present a program to the PTA or parent’s group on the need for students to read during the summer include tips on how to encourage reading.

9. Send home a book list with students that parents can take with them to their local public libraries or book stores.

10. Develop a summer reading program for students. This can be a great way to extend the school library’s presence beyond the school year. Seek funds from local foundation or business for prizes.

Summer reading is very important in maintaining student’s reading achievement. Take the lead by preventing the summer slide, even the smallest steps can yield big results.