Avoid the “summer slide”
By Denise Dillow, BCPL Youth Services Supervisor
“No more pencils, no more books!” When I was a child, I thought that the start of summer meant the end of schoolwork; I had no idea that my love for reading was helping me to continue learning throughout the summer.
Many of my teacher friends often tell me about something referred to as the “summer slide,” which is something that happens when children do not continue to read during summer break. They tend to educationally slide backwards, and if you think about it, it makes sense. It reminds me of something my mother would always say, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Unfortunately, many teachers spend the first month of school re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.
Boyd County Public Library has a summer reading program that can help children avoid the summer slide and even reward them for reading. The program for children, teens, and even adults is free; all you have to do is register! As children and teens read, they log the hours spent reading and simply redeem prizes at their next visit to any library branch. Children may even log the hours that you spend reading to them (keep that in mind when your child requests the lengthiest book on the shelf for their next bedtime story).
Each age group has their own theme, reward levels and prizes. Children up to 7 years of age participate in “Fizz Boom Read!” Prizes for this age group are a splat ball, browsing bag, book, light up yo-yo, kite, and a t-shirt. Tweens (8-12) participate in “Spark a Reaction” and earn prizes such as a splat ball, sports bag, book, journal, t-shirt, and alarm clock. The teen program is also titled Spark a Reaction and they earn awesome prizes like lanyards, earbuds, t-shirts, a book of choice, and one free book every month for a whole year! Participants are also entered into a grand prize drawing. Kids who read 50 hours are entered to win a tablet computer; tweens who read 60 hours could win an Ipad Mini; and teens who read 100 hours have a chance at winning a tablet computer, too!
The summer reading fun doesn’t stop there! BCPL also hosts lively, weekly programs for toddlers to teens that are all about science. Toddlers love listening to silly stories and creating a science inspired craft while the big kids and teens transform into mad scientists and conduct scientific experiments. Some weekly themes include: Grossology, Bubbles and Spark a Change. While the summer reading programs are a blast, children do not have to attend to earn their reading rewards – it’s just an added bonus! Program days and times for all age groups is as follows:
Main Branch (1740 Central Ave., Ashland):Wednesdays at 2 p.m., ages 4 to 12; Tuesdays at 6 p.m., teens; and Fridays at 11:30 a.m., toddlers; Kyova Branch: Tuesdays at 2 p.m., ages 4 to 12; Thursdays at 6 p.m., teens; and Fridays at 1 p.m., toddlers; and Catlettsburg Branch (2704 Louisa St.): Thursdays at 2 p.m., ages 4 to 12; Mondays at 10:30 a.m., toddlers.
Parents, no need to feel left out; we have a summer reading program for you, too! Literary Elements runs until Labor Day, and adults earn rewards based on the number of books they read this summer. Book review forms are available at any branch, or at thebookplace.org.
While the slide at the pool is absolutely fine this summer, don’t let your children slip down the summer slide. Kids who read during the summer months are less likely to lose the skills they have learned during the school year and will be better prepared when returning to school in the fall. With fun activities and fun incentives, learning has never been so much fun!