There are many ways that a community can encourage learning during the summer, and reading stops summer learning loss. Starting the summer with a Readingpalooza celebration made a lot of sense for students to begin the summer with a good book.
At Washington Island Elementary, the teachers and students had an extra half day on thee class schedule due to missed school days during the winter. Superintendent Tim Raymond and the teachers decided that the extra day could be used to have parents join in reading activities with their children and dedicate the island’s firs Little Free Library.
The Washington Island branch of the Door County Library sent Marcia Carr to speak with students and parents about the library summer reading program. She and Raymond read to the students and their parents.
Next students took part in a scavenger hunt with staff and parents reading the hints.
After the scavenger hunt teachers Margaret Foss and Becky Gillespie got the students and parents together to talk about daily reading exercises the kids do during the school year. Students were then given time to either read to themselves, a parent or a friend. Some of the older students sat outside and read.
“I think it was a blessing in disguise, because in their mind … they’ve started summer,” Foss said of the extra day for students. “So we really want to launch them into this idea of reading daily all day long.”
Foss said the hope with getting books into students hands is to stem the “summer slide,” also known as summer learning loss.
“We don’t want them to lose what they gained throughout the school year,” she said.
This is a sentiment Raymond shares.
“The research is out there: The more our kids read, the greater they achieve,” he said.
Some children are more susceptible than others to learning loss.
“What’s worse, if they are children of poverty or low income, they drop at a faster rate than children of middle income and above,” Raymond said.