Summer reading programs continue through August | SierraSun.com

Summer reading programs continue through August

Katja Dahl
Special to the Sun

Students show off their nature art project.

Your kids are excellent swimmers, they have hiked every trail they can find and have worn down the tread on their bikes. But have they been reading this summer? Never fear, there are plenty of fun summer reading programs available into August.

Every teacher will tell you it is very important, even critical, to keep your child reading and learning throughout the summer. This is especially true for children in low-income homes or communities, where access to reading opportunities is sometimes limited.

READING FOR ALL

Fortunately, for the North Tahoe and Truckee communities, we have many options, including those under the Tahoe Truckee Reads Program. This initiative focuses on ensuring all students are reading proficiently by the third grade. According to http://www.exined.org/tahoe-truckee-reads; "the end of third grade marks a key transition, where children shift from learning to read and are expected to read to learn. If children don't read well by that point they are less likely to catch up, less likely to graduate from high school and less likely to find a good job."

Tahoe Truckee Reads facilitates the popular Neighborhood Reading Program. Run by local teachers these gatherings offer weekly reading groups and story time, literacy skill building, art, crafts, multi-age reading assistance and access to books. Over 100 students participated in more than 80 hours of programming last summer and many neighborhoods are continuing this summer's programs into August, including: Donner Creek Mobile Home Park, Truckee Pines Apartments, Henness Flats Apartments. (Programs at Sierra Village Apartments, Tahoe Vista Park and El Andar/Truckee Elementary have concluded for this summer.)

At the Donner Creek Mobile Home Park, students ranging in age from 4 to 20 have met twice a week for two hours. Kids are divided into age-appropriate groups where they read articles, work on phonemic awareness, write bio poems, paint pet rocks and write about them, and conduct reader theater plays.

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"I'm always amazed at how many students join up with us every summer," said Heidi Bushway Verkler, technology teacher at Truckee and Tahoe Lake Elementary Schools and a neighborhood program instructor. "My teaching partner, Dorothy Gadsby and I try to make it fun by mixing speaking, listening and reading with art and projects. It's truly not only fun for us, it's also very rewarding to see students smile, laugh, have fun with each other and enjoy spending some of their summer learning with us."

UPCOMING LITERACY AND READING EVENTS

Read with Shasta the dog & Pam at the Tahoe City Public Library on Aug. 6 and 20. TIGER Bingo also takes place on Aug. 6 at 1:30 p.m.

At the Truckee Public Library The Paws for Reading program, hosted by George the Dog, takes place every Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. Also, there is bilingual story time on the last Saturday of each month from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Coming up on Aug. 13 is a special Wild Things, Inc. program.

The Kings Beach Public Library has two additional 'Paws for Reading' summer events coming up on Aug. 9 and 23 from noon to 2 p.m.

There are also many excellent online opportunities for learning such as Scholastic's Reading Challenge http://www.scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2014.

These reading programs are supported financially by community organizations. The Excellence in Education Foundation is the lead organization for Tahoe Truckee Reads and has coordinated many of the efforts.

This summer's Neighborhood Reading Program is funded by a grant from the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, in partnership with Excellence in Education.

For more information visit http://www.TahoeTruckeeReads.org or visit your local library. Happy reading!

Katja Dahl is an Excellence in Education board member.