Leap into Summer Learning
Summer is an exciting time to be a Raising a Reader Affiliate. Program partners have worked throughout the year implementing the program and fostering an environment that promotes parent-child interactions and connections to local libraries. The blue library celebrations are a special time to acknowledge families’ accomplishments and a critical time to promote messages of the importance of summer learning.
There is a wealth of research showing that children who do not engage in summer reading loose literacy skills and other academic skills that could better prepare them for kindergarten, low income and children of color are the most impacted by these losses. We have a critical role as practitioners to provide families’ access to resources and tools to support as well as build on any gains made during the year over the summer.
As a library that is also a Raising a Reader Affiliate introducing families to summer learning opportunities is a seamless transition. Libraries are hubs bustling with activities for children and families all year, but especially during the summer. Parents and caregivers benefit from positive and reaffirming messages that highlight learning can occur anywhere and at any time. Utilize your everyday interactions with families to promote the wealth of opportunities available happening during the summer.
Leap into summer learning with the following tips for families:
- Read and read often– Make regular trips to the library. Library staff have can make recommendations based on your child’s interest. Make reading time a regularly scheduled activity or at the least part of a routine (i.e. before bed, when a caregiver is cooking dinner, etc.).
- Get outside! – Explore your neighborhood our visit a park. Your outdoor environment can be the perfect place to learn. Physical activity also boosts learning. As an example: count how many trees, sound out the names of plants, point out building names and sound out the letters, etc.
- Attend an event- Check out a storytelling program or STEAM program. There are tons of free and fun activities that the entire family can enjoy. Some are even offered in languages other than English.
- Involve your child in everyday activities- Cooking involves reading and math. Encourage pre-writing activities and enlist your child’s help in making your daily “to do” list, for younger children drawing a to-do list is a wonderful way to introduce print. Everyday activities promote learning.
- Participate in your local library’s summer learning program– Many libraries have summer reading programs where you can receive prizes for completing activities and reading books.
Finally, get out and enjoy learning with your children. Summer is the perfect opportunity to shake up a routine and play with words, numbers, and visit new places like your library.