Take the challenge and fight off the ‘summer slide’

Multiple studies have confirmed truth about an old teaching nemesis: the so-called called “summer slide.”

The slide happens when children forget much of what they learned the previous school year during the lengthy summer break. Students come back to school in the fall needing to re-learn skills to get back to where they should be for the new school year, which also delays the learning of new material – in some cases, by as much as six weeks.

One of the best ways to combat the slide, as documented in studies, is by reading to children or by having them read. Reading comprehension is retained through continued practice. Studies show that 2-3 hours per week of reading can prevent learning loss and stop the loss of up to two months of reading skills.

Johns Hopkins University researchers found low-income students are at a higher risk for falling behind over the break, and PBS reports approximately 10 million low-income K-4 students are not reading proficiently.

Elkhart Public Library’s summer reading challenge, presented in partnership with Ranger Distribution, offers a tremendous opportunity for families.

Kids get rewarded for reading and receive recognition along the way. This year’s challenge starts May 19. Prize entries can be turned in through July 18, with winners to be announced Thursday, July 20.