Summer is time for kids to read
To the editor:
I am writing to say thank you to the Lake Placid Rotary Club, the Adirondack Foundation and the Educational Opportunity Fund for funding summer reading at Lake Placid Elementary School. I would also like to thank Marc and Sarah Galvin at The Bookstore Plus for getting all of the books for our fourth annual Book Shopping Day.
Book Shopping Day has become a cherished day because each student gets to choose several new and used books to take home, read and add to their own personal libraries. For many students, this is the only chance they get to pick out their own new books. The students arrived with bags they had decorated in art class and picked out six to 14 new and used books to take home and add to their personal book collections. Parents and guardians were also give information on how they can help their child with reading over the summer.
Since the start of Book Shopping Day in 2016, the summer slide percentage at Lake Placid Elementary School has dropped. Summer slide is when a student returns to school in the fall with a lower reading level than when they left the previous spring. Based on data collected by teachers in the fall and spring, we have been tracking the percentage of students who experience a summer slide. Last year, the percentage of students who lost skills over the summer was 35%. We are hoping to see this drop again this summer.
How can you help your child at home prevent the summer slide? Students should read daily for a minimum of 20 minutes to help prevent summer slide. Set aside a time each day where your child is able to sit and just read. Maybe it’s reading in the morning before they head off on their summer adventure, or read in the backyard after lunch, or perhaps right before bed is the best time. Have your child set a goal for the summer, either number of books or a list of titles they want to read, and help them work toward that goal. Students in grades 3 to 5 can work on the 46er book challenge, and younger students can work towards reading all the books in their favorite series. Have your child keep a journal about his or her books. They can draw or write about their favorite parts of the story. Have daily conversations about books, and remember that children are never too old to hear a story read aloud. Bring along a book on your camping trip, and read aloud around the campfire!
The most important thing is to make sure students have access to books throughout the summer. In addition to students getting to choose their own books, the Little Free Libraries in our communities have been restocked. There is one at Lake Placid Elementary School, Cascade Acres and Copper Way in Lake Placid, and the Little Supermarket in Wilmington. Another one run by St. Eustace Church is located at Peacock Park next to Mirror Lake Beach. The libraries have been very successful and students often say that they stopped by to drop off a few books or take a book or two to read. Hopefully you are able to stop by one of the Little Free Libraries and take a book, leave a book this summer.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project. I hope to continue to purchase books for students and help them not only beat the summer slide, but also develop a lifelong love of reading.
Laura G. Coffin
Lake Placid Elementary School